Dystocia is a medical term for a type of birth complication and resulting injuries. Essentially, dystocia describes a difficult labor in which the size of the mother or child, or the position of the fetus, complicates the delivery. This issue is relatively common — when it occurs, it is up to the attending physician to respond promptly. Doctors who fail to quickly react to dystocia or correctly treat the issue may be guilty of medical malpractice.
At LawMD, our Washington, D.C. dystocia lawyers have also studied medicine. We know how this issue occurs and how to correct it, and can understand the medical aspects of your case more than other attorneys can. We have dedicated our practice to using our medical and legal knowledge to help injury victims and their families. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
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Dystocia can cause various complications and health issues for both the mother and child. Dystocia may force the baby into uncomfortable birthing positions which can strain their body and harm the mother.
The force of pulling a baby from the womb, especially when the child is stuck or in a difficult position, can cause substantial trauma to the infant’s muscles, bones, tendons, and nerves.
Injuries to a baby that can result from dystocia may include:
- Bone fractures
- Head and brain trauma
- Nerve damage (potentially resulting in conditions such as Erb’s palsy)
A mother may experience the following injuries caused by dystocia:
- Vaginal tearing
- Uterine rupture
- Blood loss and postpartum hemorrhage
Shoulder dystocia is one of the most common complications that can result from a difficult birth. When this issue occurs, the baby’s shoulders are stuck in the pelvis of the mother. Doctors are often unable to identify the signs of shoulder dystocia until labor begins. Once a doctor begins to see signs of shoulder dystocia, they must react quickly to ensure the birth is as safe as possible. Shoulder dystocia is a major cause of Erb’s palsy, as the nerves of the shoulder and upper arm will be strained by the birth and as the doctor attempts to reposition the baby.
There are several different ways to respond to dystocia and work to ease delivery. Administering a Caesarean section (C-section) delivery is one of the most common ways to address dystocia, because doing so allows doctors to remove the baby safely. C-sections are especially common in instances where the baby’s size complicates vaginal delivery. If a C-section is not the best treatment option, a baby can be delivered vaginally if repositioned. The doctor may reposition the baby from inside or have the mother change to a position that eases delivery. Doctors who fail to properly address dystocia can cause injury to the mother and baby. In these cases the negligent doctor could be held liable for damages.
If your child was born with a birth injury, contact our firm today. Although dystocia is a common issue and is often caused by factors outside of anyone’s control, competent doctors must be able to prevent injury when dystocia does occur. Failing to properly respond and injuring a baby as a result is inexcusable, and those who are liable must be held accountable for their negligence.
LawMD can represent you in claims against negligent doctors and hospitals, and can help your family recover the compensation you deserve. Call now to discuss the details of your case.
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