Shoulder dystocia is a rare but severe birth injury that can happen due to medical negligence and has lasting impacts on the baby. If your child has symptoms of shoulder dystocia or was diagnosed with shoulder dystocia, it’s important to contact a medical malpractice birth injury lawyer to understand your rights and options. Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys for birth injuries | KC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

What Is Shoulder Dystocia? 

Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the mother’s pelvis during delivery due to their size or shape. A physician may need to use additional force or specific types of maneuvers to deliver the baby safely.

These methods should be done carefully and with respect for the safety of both mother and baby—any missteps by the doctor could lead to further complications for both parties. 

Many cases of shoulder dystocia are preventable if proper care is taken during labor and delivery. However, doctors sometimes fail to take the correct action or act negligently during delivery which can lead to injury for both mother and child. 

A physician should have a full understanding of certain factors that put women at risk for this type of birth injury and determine ahead of time whether a cesarean delivery is necessary to avoid potential complications. They include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Obesity
  • High-risk medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • A delivery involving twins, triplets, and so on
  • A previous birth that resulted in shoulder dystocia
  • A birth mother over age 35
  • A woman with a small or abnormal pelvic structure
  • Delivery of a late-term or extremely large baby 

If the attending medical professionals fail to monitor, diagnose, or provide appropriate care during delivery, this could be seen as contributing negligence if shoulder dystocia occurs. 

Complications from a shoulder dystocia birth injury that can affect a child may include:

  • Nerve damage to the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Broken arm or collarbone
  • Oxygen deprivation and potential brain damage
  • Brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy 

Depending on the severity of shoulder dystocia, babies may experience long-term physical impairments or need extensive medical care that can last into adulthood. 

A shoulder dystocia birth injury can also cause painful complications for the mother, such as:

  • Lacerations and tearing of the cervix and perineum
  • Uterine rupture
  • Bruising to the bladder
  • Hemorrhaging

When to Contact a Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child was diagnosed with shoulder dystocia or you suspect they may have suffered an injury due to medical negligence during birth, it’s essential that you speak with a medical malpractice birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll review the case and advise you on how best to get financial compensation for any injuries caused by medical negligence. In some instances, they may even be able to negotiate a settlement agreement so that you don’t have to go through a lengthy trial process.  

Medical malpractice damages you could receive due to a shoulder dystocia birth injury include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice in Kansas City, Missouri?

If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical practice you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.


Spencer Eisenmenger
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, product liability, birth injury and personal injury clients.