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Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia Lawsuits in Hawaii

Millions Recovered for Birth Injury Victims

Shoulder dystocia occurs when the fetal shoulders fail to deliver shortly after the head passes through the mother's pubic bone. This occurrence is a fetal emergency and, while in and of itself does not constitute malpractice, failure to properly handle a case of shoulder dystocia can severely injure or even kill an infant.

Shoulder dystocia occurs in approximately one percent of all vaginal births. It may result from complications involving gestational diabetes, maternal obesity, epidural anesthesia, and large fetus size, which are known risk factors.

If your child was harmed by a medical provider’s negligent management of shoulder dystocia, Bostwick & Peterson, LLP may be able to help. Our track record includes over $1 billion for clients and numerous record results in birth injury and medical malpractice cases.

Long Term Effects of Dystocia

In the worst-case scenarios, shoulder dystocia can lead to the death of the child due to the compression of the umbilical cord while the baby is still inside the birth canal. If the child survives delivery, they may suffer injuries or complications such as:

  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Fractures, including clavicle fracture
  • Hypoxia / Brain Damage

The mother can also suffer injuries from shoulder dystocia during delivery, such as uterine rupture, hemorrhaging, severe tearing, and rectovaginal fistula.

Proper Procedure for Managing Shoulder Dystocia

Doctors are required to follow accepted protocol in the event dystocia occurs. If they do not follow necessary procedures, the child could be killed or both mother and child could suffer injury. When a doctor fails to uphold their duty of case, their negligence could constitute malpractice and entitle victims to financial compensation.

There are two main acronyms used to detail procedures doctors should take for shoulder dystocia: ALARMER and HELPERR. Both state essentially the same thing:

  • Call for help. When dystocia is identify, providers must call for help. Medical staff should be standing by to perform the necessary protocol to assist in the delivery.
  • Evaluate for episiotomy. Providers should evaluate the need for an episiotomy, which involves making an incision on the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall and perform is necessary.
  • Leg maneuver. Most obstetricians use the McRoberts maneuver, which involves positioning the mother's thighs up to her abdomen.
  • Suprapubic pressure. Medical assistants should place pressure on the fetal anterior shoulder in a downward motion. This should facilitate movement so that the infant can continue to pass through the pubic bone.
  • Enter maneuvers. By using tested rotation methods, doctors can attempt to rotate and maneuver the infant into a better position.
  • Remove the posterior arm. Doctors should avoid simply grabbing and pulling at the infant's arm, as this could cause fracturing. The doctor should take care to flex the elbow.
  • Roll the patient. Providers should assist the mother in changing positions to all fours, which can help dislodge the baby’s shoulder as the mother is turning.

If you have questions about a potential birth injury lawsuit involving shoulder dystocia, our Hawaii attorneys offer free consultations. Contact us to speak with a lawyer.

Nationally Recognized Law Firm

  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
    The Inner Circle of Advocates

    Invitation-only organization of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the U.S.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Former President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, limited to the top 500 trial lawyers in the U.S.

  • Super Lawyers 2020
    Super Lawyers 2020

    James S. Bostwick and Erik L. Peterson have been named top-rated medical malpractice attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    An invitation-only group of top trial lawyers in the nation.

    ~Hawaii Chapter~

  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
    American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

    James Bostwick is a nationally certified medical malpractice specialist and founding member.

  • The Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America

    Recognized since its inception in 1983 by this peer-reviewed publication, comprised of the best legal talent in the world.

  • Best Law Firms
    Best Law Firms

    Recognized for professional excellence with impressive ratings from clients and peers.

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    James Bostwick & Erik Peterson are listed in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    An exclusive group limited to less than 1% of U.S. attorneys who have won multi-million dollar results.

  • Lawdragon

    James Bostwick inducted into the Hall of Fame and featured among the Top 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America.

  • Expertise - Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Honolulu 2024
    Expertise - Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Honolulu 2024

    Selected to the 2024 Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Honolulu list by Expertise.

  • Expertise - Best Wrongful Death Attorneys in Honolulu 2024
    Expertise - Best Wrongful Death Attorneys in Honolulu 2024

    Selected to the 2024 Wrongful Death Attorneys in Honolulu list by Expertise.


Why Choose Bostwick & Peterson, LLP?

  • James Bostwick Is A Nationally Certified Specialist By The American Board Of Professional Liability
  • Included In The List Of "Best Lawyers In America" By U.S. News - Best Lawyers® Since Its Inception In 1983
  • James Bostwick Received The Trial Lawyers "Presidential Award Of Merit"
  • Invite-Only Member Of The Inner Circle of Advocates, Limited To The Nation’s Top 100 Plaintiff Lawyers
  • Record-Setting Verdicts & Settlements In Four States, For Malpractice, Truck, And Auto Accidents
  • Best Lawyers® Trial Lawyer Of The Year In 2012

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