Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia

A rare, though extremely serious obstetrical complication, shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of a baby’s shoulders become wedged behind the mother’s pubic bone in the midst of delivery. Presentation of shoulder dystocia requires immediate, precise action on the part of doctors. Failure to identify this dangerous complication or to perform the necessary maneuvers to achieve a successful delivery can result in devastating injuries to the baby, including severe brain damage, brachial plexus injury, deep lacerations, bone fractures and contusions.

If you or your child has suffered serious harm due to physician mismanagement of shoulder dystocia during birth, a New York birth injury lawyer at The Sanders Firm can advise you about your legal rights. Victims of medical malpractice in New York are entitled to compensation for present and future medical bills, pain & suffering, loss of quality of life, and in tragic instances of fatalities at birth, wrongful death. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience litigating birth injury cases in NYC, and we are committed to leveraging our expertise and investigative resources on behalf of victims against deep-pocketed hospitals and doctors.

If your child suffered a birth injury due to medical errors or mistakes, the law is on your side. Call the attorneys at The Sanders Firm today for a free and honest evaluation of your case.

Brachial plexus injury

Brachial plexus injuries are commonly seen in the aftermath of shoulder dystocia births, and impact the nerve bundle responsible for governing movement of the hands, arms and shoulders. Klumpke’s Palsy and Erb’s Palsy are frequent complications of this type of injury and can produce permanent range of motion restriction and serious disability. Often the result of a physician’s failure to adhere to the recognized medical standard of care or to perform one or more of the maneuvers known to mitigate the risk of harm, these types of injuries can form the basis of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit in NY.

Signs and symptoms of shoulder dystocia

One of the most important things a physician can do to prevent injuries resulting from shoulder dystocia is to be alert to the numerous signals such cases often present.

Warning signs of increased risk of shoulder dystocia include:

  • Prior maternal history of births involving shoulder dystocia
  • A baby with a body that is large in proportion to its head
  • Maternal diabetes,
  • Maternal obesity
  • A pregnancy that has gone beyond full term

Failure to heed these alerts and make the maneuvers necessary to prevent additional complications and injury can result in malpractice liability. Once shoulder dystocia has become apparent, it is critical that the physician initiate standard maneuvers and physical manipulations intended to accomplish rapid, safe delivery of the baby. If initial attempts do not succeed, the doctor must immediately undertake emergency management techniques that may involve additional labor nurses, anesthesiologists, neonatologists and other highly trained staff. If this type of organized, deliberate approach is not followed, severe injuries to both mother and child can result.

We at the Sanders Firm believe that healthcare practitioners who do not meet recognized standards of care need to be held responsible for the harm they cause. Remember that the law is always on the side of victims of birth injury malpractice in New York. You and your family do not need to match hospitals and doctors dollar for dollar in malpractice litigation—at The Sanders Firm, we take on all litigation costs for our clients, and spare no expense in building the strongest case possible. We charge no fees unless we win your case.

At The Sanders Law Firm, Success Is A Tradition

Founded in 1967, The Sanders Law Firm has flourished into one of New York’s most successful personal injury practices, with an accomplished team of attorneys, paralegals, health care consultants, and support staff. Our trial attorneys take new cases on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to the client unless we secure monetary damages on your behalf.

Our personal injury law firm continues to make its industry-leading legal services even better, and hire attorneys and staff that enable us to serve a more diverse population.

At The Sanders Firm, there is never any charge to evaluate your case. We have helped thousands of injured clients throughout New York City, Long Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and we’re prepared to help you too. In just the last five years we have procured over $100 million dollars on behalf of our clients, thanks to our vast resources and experienced attorneys. Our personal injury law firm continues to make its industry-leading legal services even better, and hire attorneys and staff that enable us to serve a more diverse population.

To set up your free, no-obligation case review with a New York personal injury lawyer, please call (516) 591-3208 or contact us using our online form. Our friendly staff is standing by to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



The Sanders Law Firm is a New York personal injury practice with offices in Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.