Shoulder dystocia is an uncommon birth injury, occurring in about 1 out of 1,000 head-first pregnancies. During birth, one shoulder of the fetus lodges against the mother's pubic bone and becomes caught in the birth canal. When the head emerges, it is usually pulled back tightly against the vaginal opening, which keeps the baby's mouth shut. The chest is subsequently compressed against the birth canal, restricting the baby's respiratory abilities. Within five minutes, oxygen levels may fall considerably. Due to the closure of the baby's mouth, however, insertion of a breathing tube is difficult. Physicians
often attempt to free the baby's shoulder or push the baby back into the vagina so that doctors can perform a cesarean section, a procedure that increases the risk of further birth injuries.
- Birth Injuries
- Medical Malpractice & Negligent Care
- Nurses & Assistants