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How to Minimize Birth Injury

Posted on January 7, 2019

Training and preparation can help doctors reduce unexpected complications during vaginal deliveries such as shoulder dystocia, reported an article this past fall in Contemporary OB/GYN. Such complications can result in permanent damage to the baby and/or injury to the mother.

Shoulder dystocia, the article relayed, is a condition where the baby’s head emerges but the shoulders remain wedged inside the mother. The complication occurs in up to 3 percent of vaginal births, according to the article, and is difficult to predict. Mothers with diabetes or obesity are at greater risk. Those who have had a previous incident of shoulder dystocia, or those carrying a larger fetus also may be susceptible.

The article advocates for having a protocol in place and practicing it with training through simulations. Slow and gradual maneuvers, with care taken to protect the brachial plexus, are recommended, noted the article. Medical providers also should be on the lookout for postpartum complications. A standardized approach will help all members of the team to know what to expect and allow a second team member to intervene if the first is unsuccessful.

Regardless of protocol, unfortunately, experiencing birth injury in a Philadelphia hospital can still happen. If you would like to discuss your unique situation and legal options, please contact us.