Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers in Seattle

Experienced Birth Injury Attorneys Fighting for Washington Families

When shoulder dystocia occurs during childbirth, the attending medical professionals must act quickly and competently to protect the health of both mother and child. If you or your baby has been injured as a result negligent medical care of shoulder dystocia, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. 

At Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, we understand how devastating these injuries can be for Washington families – physically, emotionally, and financially. We also know how important it is to hold accountable those responsible for their actions. We are committed to protecting your rights and fighting for a fair settlement on your child’s behalf – whether through a negotiated settlement or at trial – so that you can focus on the health and well-being of your child. 

Understanding Shoulder Dystocia and How it Can Impact Your Delivery

Shoulder dystocia is a serious medical condition when one or both of the baby's shoulders become stuck in the mother's pelvis during the birthing process. This condition can lead to damaging birth injuries for both mother and baby if not managed properly by medical personnel.

During an uncomplicated delivery, the baby's head is delivered first with their shoulders and arms following next. With shoulder dystocia, however, the baby's head will pass through normally but the baby’s shoulders become trapped behind the mother's pelvic bone. When this occurs, medical staff must take swift action to gently but quickly remove the shoulder using maneuvers like applying gentle pressure on the mother’s abdomen or rotating the baby out manually.

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Contact Schroeter Goldmark & Bender today by filling out our online form or calling (206) 208-0318 to discuss your case with one of our shoulder dystocia lawyers.

Causes of Shoulder Dystocia 

There are several potential causes of shoulder dystocia during childbirth. These include:

  • Fetal macrosomia: When the baby is larger than average, it can cause the shoulders to become stuck in the birth canal. 
  • Prolonged labor: When contractions last longer than expected, or if labor takes place over an extended period of time, it can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia. 
  • Maternal diabetes: Pregnant women who suffer from maternal diabetes are at higher risk for shoulder dystocia. 
  • Multiple births: Having twins or triplets increases the likelihood of shoulder dystocia. 
  • Use of forceps or vacuum: The use of these tools during delivery can increase the chances of the shoulder becoming lodged behind the public bone. 

These factors can be exacerbated by medical negligence during delivery. In some cases, a doctor may not have performed all necessary steps to ensure a safe delivery leading up to birth or may have actively mismanaged care during childbirth, leaving both mother and baby at risk.

If your delivery involved shoulder dystocia that resulted in an injury, you may be entitled to pursue legal recourse if it was due to medical negligence. Medical professionals are expected to exercise reasonable care in their handling of labor and delivery, including recognizing signs of risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia and responding appropriately should it occur during delivery. 

Failure to do so could result in long-term health issues for both mother and child. A skilled Seattle lawyer can help you better understand your rights and options after a traumatic delivery experience due to shoulder dystocia. 

Consequences of Shoulder Dystocia

The long-term effects of shoulder dystocia can be devastating for both the mother and the newborn baby. In some cases, babies who have been affected by shoulder dystocia may experience persistent physical challenges such as:

  • Erb’s palsy: This type of nerve damage to the brachial plexus affects movement and sensation in the baby's arm. It can cause weakness or paralysis in the shoulder, arm, or hand muscles. 
  • Oxygen deprivation (hypoxemia): In severe cases of shoulder dystocia, the baby may experience a lack of oxygen due to umbilical cord compression that can lead to brain damage. This can cause cognitive impairments, learning difficulties, hearing loss, and vision problems. 
  • Fractures: Excessive force used during delivery to remove the stuck shoulder may result in broken bones such as fractures in the collarbone or humerus.  
“We couldn't have found a better team of people to act on our behalf.”

Legal Support for Washington Families Dealing with Shoulder Dystocia Injury

It is not easy to cope with the aftermath of a birth injury caused by medical negligence. Not only are families dealing with physical and emotional trauma, but they also face financial burdens associated with seeking treatment for long-term health issues due to injuries resulting from shoulder dystocia during childbirth. 

Our Seattle-based shoulder dystocia lawyers are committed to providing the legal resources and experience that Washington families can rely on during these situations. Our team at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender has extensive experience representing clients affected by medical malpractice during childbirth, and we understand how overwhelming this situation must feel for you and your family. Our attorneys are passionate about helping families seek justice after their babies are injured due to medical negligence.

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