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Shoulder dystocia refers to the scenario during labor when a baby’s head passes through the birth canal and the baby’s shoulders become stuck. This complication becomes obvious when the fetal head emerges and then retracts, preventing the delivery of the rest of the body. Shoulder dystocia is considered an emergency, and your doctor must work quickly and carefully to prevent complications associated with this birth injury.
Shoulder dystocia can increase risks for both you and your baby. Some possible complications include:
Certain women may be more at risk for having babies with shoulder dystocia. Some risk factors and causes include:
The “turtle sign” is a defining symptom of shoulder dystocia. This occurs when the fetal head passes through the birth canal but then seems to retract back into the birth canal. This is said to be like a turtle that sticks its head out of its shell and puts it back in.
Doctors diagnose shoulder dystocia when the shoulders fail to deliver shortly after the head. In other words, when doctors can see the baby’s head, but the baby’s body cannot be delivered. Shoulder dystocia extends delivery time, but if anticipated on the basis of risk factors, preparatory tasks can be accomplished before delivery.
Some examples of negligence associated with shoulder dystocia include:
It’s possible that a doctor’s negligence led to your child’s shoulder dystocia injury. If you believe that this is what happened to your child, reach out to the birth injury attorneys at WKW, who can help you and your family move forward and get help after an injury. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.