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How to Minimize Vaginal Birth Complications

Posted on March 11, 2019

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

Shoulder dystocia is a condition where the baby’s head emerges but the shoulders remain wedged inside the mother, and cannot be corrected with an emergency cesarean delivery. 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. Women who have had a previous incident of shoulder dystocia or are carrying a larger fetus also may be susceptible.

The report advocates having a protocol in place for delivery teams, who would ideally practice that protocol in training exercises and simulations, with slow, gradual maneuvers and care taken to protect the brachial plexus. Additionally, the commentary recommended a standardized approach to all deliveries that would include monitoring of postpartum complications and enabling all members of the team the ability to intervene if things don’t go as expected.

Unfortunately, even with the best planning, birth injury in Philadelphia hospitals can still happen. If you believe you have a legal issue involving medical error during birth and would like to share your story with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, contact us.