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New Hampshire Shoulder Dystocia Attorneys

What Is Shoulder Dystocia & What Are Its Effects?

When one or both of an infant’s shoulders become stuck in the mother’s pelvis during birth, it is known as shoulder dystocia. While rare, shoulder dystocia can be very serious and may lead to permanent disabilities and complications for both the newborn and the mother. It can cause Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus) and, in very severe cases, can even lead to death.

In some cases, shoulder dystocia and its effects are caused or worsened as a result of medical negligence. This can be the case if the mother exhibits certain risk factors but nurses, doctors, and other medical practitioners fail to take the necessary precautions. This can also be the case if shoulder dystocia is noted after delivery has already begun (as is usually the case) and doctors fail to properly notice or manage the issue.

If your child suffered injuries as a result of shoulder dystocia or after a difficult delivery, contact our New Hampshire shoulder dystocia attorneys at (603) 323-4622 today. During your free initial consultation, we can help you understand your legal options and rights.

Injuries Caused by Shoulder Dystocia

As previously mentioned, shoulder dystocia can result in injuries that range from mild to moderate to severe. In most cases, injuries are relatively minor and typically heal on their own within a few months to a year after the infant is born. However, even in milder cases, medical treatment may still be required for the child to properly heal. In more severe cases, the child may require life-long care for his or her injuries.

Examples of newborn injuries that can be caused by shoulder dystocia include:

  • Brain damage caused by lack of oxygen
  • Broken bones, particularly the arm and/or collarbone
  • Nerve damage to the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Erb’s palsy/brachial plexus injury
  • Temporary or permanent paralysis, partial or complete
  • Death

Additionally, mothers may suffer serious injuries when their child endures shoulder dystocia. Maternal injuries can include anything from cervical, rectal, or vaginal tearing and bruising to uterine rupturing to bladder bruising, hemorrhaging, and more.

Causes of Shoulder Dystocia

There are many factors that increase the risk for shoulder dystocia. Many of these factors—such as obesity, gestational diabetes, small or abnormal pelvic structure, and exceptionally large or past-due infants—are not related to medical malpractice. However, when medical professionals fail to properly address these risk factors or shoulder dystocia during delivery, it can lead to preventable injuries.

All too often, shoulder dystocia occurs as a result of prolonged labor, or failure to order a timely C-section. It can also occur when forceps or vacuum extractors are used during assisted vaginal delivery. These factors can also contribute to worsened shoulder dystocia injuries in instances when shoulder dystocia was already present.

When to Seek Legal Representation

Any time a nurse, doctor, or medical facility deviates from the normal standard of care and a child or mother suffers injuries as a result, it is possible to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Medical professionals have a responsibility to provide a reasonable level of care for their patients. When they fail to do so, they should be held accountable for their negligence.

If you or your child were injured as a result of shoulder dystocia, financial compensation cannot negate the pain and suffering you and your family have been through. It can, however, assist with the cost of necessary medical treatment, both immediate and long-term. A birth injury lawsuit can also seek punitive damages meant to punish the negligent parties and ensure that other children and families are not similarly affected in the future.

To discuss your case with our New Hampshire shoulder dystocia attorneys, contact our office at (603) 323-4622 today. We offer contingent fees, meaning you don’t pay unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

Our Team

  • Mark Abramson

    Mark Abramson Attorney

    Mark A. Abramson is an experienced New Hampshire birth injury attorney and a founder of Abramson, Brown & Dugan. He has devoted the past 40+ years to helping victims of medical malpractice and catastrophic injury rebuild their lives. At the firm, he regularly handles highly complex cases, including those involving birth injuries and wrongful death.

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  • Kevin Dugan

    Kevin Dugan Attorney

    Kevin F. Dugan is a skilled New Hampshire birth injury attorney with more than 30 years of experience representing victims of medical malpractice throughout the state. He became a founding member of Abramson, Brown & Dugan after relocating from Florida—where he completed his undergraduate and law degree—to New Hampshire.

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  • Holly Haines

    Holly Haines Attorney

    Holly B. Haines is a skilled New Hampshire birth injury attorney who has been with the firm since 2003. Prior to joining Abramson, Brown & Dugan, she served as a judicial law clerk at the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the New Hampshire Superior Court for three years.

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  • Jared Green

    Jared Green Attorney

    Jared R. Green is an experienced birth injury attorney in New Hampshire. He has been working with Abramson, Brown & Dugan since 1992 when he was still in law school. Over the past 25+ years, he has helped injured victims and their families throughout the state, providing sound legal counsel and dedicated representation.

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  • Nick Abramson

    Nick Abramson Attorney

    Nick Abramson joined Abramson, Brown & Dugan in 2016 after spending four years as a federal criminal prosecutor. Now, with the firm, he focuses his practice on high-damage personal injury and medical malpractice cases. He has handled a variety of complex matters, including failure to diagnose, medication errors, and wrongful births.

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  • Elie Maalouf

    Elie Maalouf Attorney

    Elie Maalouf is an associate attorney at Abramson, Brown & Dugan. As a skilled New Hampshire birth injury lawyer, he focuses on representing victims of medical negligence and severe personal injury throughout the state. He strives to provide each client with the compassionate, one-on-one attention they deserve and the aggressive advocacy they need.

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  • Eva Bleich

    Eva Bleich Attorney

    Eva Bleich has been with Abramson, Brown & Dugan since 2008. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia for 20 years. In her time spent as a New Hampshire birth injury lawyer, Eva has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the medical malpractice litigation process.

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Hear From Our Clients

  • Abramson, Brown & Dugan "Should be given an A rating"

    - Peer Review

  • Abramson, Brown & Dugan "I’ve recommended them and will continue to recommend them to others who’ve suffered as a result of medical malpractice."

    - Lisa M.

  • Abramson, Brown & Dugan "Kevin kept in touch with me, giving me updates every step of the way. He really cares. Even when we resolved the case, Kevin told me to keep in touch with him. If you can have a wonderful experience in a lawyer’s office, we had it!"

    - Norman J.

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