Medical negligence cases are complex and challenging. Their difficulty is increased by the fact that most medical professionals refuse to testify against a colleague. So, the cost and risks associated with these cases are high.
The time limit imposed by law for filing a case is called the law’s statute of limitation. Medical cases statues of limitations are usually shorter than most others. For example, the statute of limitation for a tort case in Arkansas is 3 years, while the statute of limitation for a medical negligence case is 2 years. The statute of limitation for a medical negligence case in Missouri and Oklahoma is 2 years but only 1 year in Tennessee. However, there are varying exceptions for minors for all statues of limitations.
A shoulder dystocia occurs when, after delivery of the fetal head, the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. It has the potential for causing significant, lifelong injury to the baby.
Possible Complications of Dystocia:
Brachial plexus (BRAY-key-el PLEK-sis) injury is the classic injury. If this network of nerves under the neck is damaged, weakness and partial or total paralysis of the affected arm may occur.
Fetal asphyxia (lack of oxygen) is the most feared complication of dystocia. Cerebral palsy and fetal death are rare, but not unknown. During a dystocia delivery, the baby’s head emerges from the mother, and the umbilical cord becomes tightly compressed between its body and the mother’s birth canal. This decreases or totally cuts off blood flow to the infant. If the pressure on the cord is not rapidly relieved, decreased delivery of oxygen to the baby will occur.
The mother, too, is at some risk when shoulder dystocia occurs. The most common complications she may suffer are excessive blood loss and vaginal lacerations. Uterine rupture has also been reported.
Most Common Risk Factors for Dystocia
• Birthweight greater than 8.8 lbs
• Maternal diabetes
• Previous dystocia
• Being past-due
There are two main signs that a shoulder dystocia is present:
• The body does not emerge with standard moderate traction and maternal pushing after delivery of the baby’s head.
• The “turtle sign”: baby’s head suddenly retracts back after it emerges, resembling a turtle pulling its head back into its shell.
Shoulder dystocia cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy; it cannot be prevented. So, how can your obstetrician treat dystocia when it occurs?
The general consensus is that the best results in resolving shoulder dystocias are obtained when an obstetrician:
(1) Recognizes the shoulder dystocia
(2) Calls for help
(3) Knows the different maneuvers involved in attempting to resolve shoulder dystocia
(4) Implements them in a carefully controlled, calm, and organized fashion.
Because shoulder dystocia is a true obstetrical emergency, its occurrence requires a rapid and well-coordinated plan. In the presence of one or more risk factors, a pre-partum discussion of the risks and benefits of cesarean section should be discussed due the unpredictable nature of the occurrence of a dystocia.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
If you suspect that you or a loved one is the victim of medical negligence or medical malpractice, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.