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Jury finds for family in shoulder dystocia birth injury case

A jury recently found in favor of the parents of a little girl whose arm was permanently disabled due to complications during her delivery. The jury found against the OB-GYN who had delivered the baby, deciding the mistakes made by the doctor during delivery led to the permanent damage in the baby's nerves in her arm. The baby suffered shoulder dystocia during birth, which means that the baby's shoulder gets caught behind the mother's pelvic bone during birth.

The attorney for the baby's parents argued that the doctor panicked and rushed the delivery by pulling down on the baby's head. The attorney argued that this was a mistake that ruptured and ripped the baby's nerves in her arm. He said that the doctor should have taken more time to find a safer way to ease the baby's shoulder around the hip bone since the baby's oxygen levels were fine at the time.

Instead, the attorney said that the doctor rushed the delivery and, in turn, damaged the nerves. The nerves were so badly damaged the baby's arm will always be shorter than the other arm. The arm is basically useless as well. The baby was large at birth. Sometimes a C-section can be ordered when the baby is large and the risk of a shoulder injury exists.

Source: Omaha World-Herald, "$1.8 million awarded in birth injury," Todd Cooper, Nov. 24, 2011

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