Unfortunately, the majority of cases involving brachial plexus injuries are a direct result of an improperly performed delivery. Specifically, when your child is born vaginally, his or her shoulders can become wedged underneath the mother’s pubic bone (this is called shoulder dystocia) resulting in potentially serious and life threatening complications. When this happens, your child’s head is usually protruding from the birth canal while the neck, shoulders and body still remain inside. As your contractions continue to intensify, they can put pressure on your baby’s head, neck and body, potentially cutting off his or her oxygen supply.
With proper care and precautions, competent medical staff can prevent birth injuries resulting in Klumpke’s palsy. Please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 for qualified review of your case.
Preventing Klumpke’s palsy
As a law firm with more than three decades at the forefront of representing birth injury victims and their families, we know questions are regularly raised in court in terms of what a medical professional should have done at the onset of a case of shoulder dystocia. Doctors are trained as early as during medical school to perform the following procedures, in a particular order, to avoid brachial plexus and other severe injuries:
- McRoberts maneuver – This delivery technique involves bending your legs towards your chest, which effectively widens the pelvic area and flattens out the lower spine. This can allow for more room for your child to pass through the birth canal. Should this procedure not successfully dislodge the “trapped” baby, the doctor should consider the next alternative.
- Suprapubic pressure – This is administered by a member of the medical team who pushes on your lower abdomen at a 45 degree angle to dislodge your child’s shoulder from underneath your pubic bone.
- Woods/Rubens maneuver – This involves the insertion of the doctor’s hand inside your birth canal in order to manually free your child’s shoulders from underneath the pubic bone.
- Episiotomy – This is a procedure where a surgical cut is made in your perineum, the area between the vagina and anus. This is performed in order to afford more room for your child to quickly pass through the birth canal.
- Zavanelli Maneuver – Though rarely pursued, this procedure involves pushing your child back into the uterus to afford enough time for a cesarean section to be performed.
- Symphysiotomy – Also rarely done, this procedure involves the cutting of your pubic bone in order to free your child suffering from shoulder dystocia.
Should your child continue to be lodged within the birth canal in spite of the performance of any of the above procedures, or if a doctor does not feel that a vaginal birth is possible, he or she may order a c-section to deliver your baby.
Doctors can make critical mistakes, leaving innocent children with lifelong and disabling injuries. Our firm can pursue compensation to help offset the financial and emotional burden attending the challenges your child faces from Klumpke’s palsy. Please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 today.