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New Medical Technology: Simulator May Help Prevent Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injuries

For a mom-to-be worrying about labor and delivery is completely normal.  Usually after delivery both mother and child are fine.  But in some cases birth injuries can occur.  One such injury is called shoulder dystocia.  The injury usually occurs when one of the infant’s shoulders gets lodged behind a bony prominent in the mother’s pelvis while the child is being delivered through the birth canal. This type of injury can affect the infant for the rest of its life.

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To help prevent shoulder dystocia birth injuries, Kettering University has created a human birthing simulator.  This amazing new technology will provide medical students with a life-like learning experience in which they can practice, hands on, the delivery of an infant.

Shoulder dystocia is one the more serious injuries that can occur in child birth. It is an injury to an infant’s brachial plexus (series of nerves running from the neck down the arms). This injury can result in a complete paralysis of the infant’s arm. The injury is permanent, lifelong, and devastating. There are several well-known maneuvers that delivering physicians should utilize when they encounter a shoulder dystocia that will allow the child to be delivered without injury. 

However, if the delivering surgeon dislodges the child by exerting excessive force by pulling the child’s head, injuries to the nerves that come from the cervical spinal cord and go down each arm can frequently occur. It is widely felt that brachial plexus injuries caused by improperly managed shoulder dystocia are quite preventable. When they occur, it usually results in a medical malpractice claim being brought against the delivering physician, also usually an obstetrician/gynecologist.

Click here to read about how one of our firm attorneys secured a $2.3 million jury verdict for a child injured from negligence with shoulder dystocia


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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