Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Ob-Gyn Negligence: Yes, It Does Happen

Doctors often claim that they get sued too often. In particular, obstetricians and gynecologists like to point out that even excellent care cannot always ensure a perfect delivery when there is some form of fetal distress.
To be sure, every birth injury is not the result of medical negligence. But no amount of spin can change the fact that many of them are.
Let’s be specific, looking at one of the most common complications that can occur in the birth process: shoulder dystocia.
When a baby is not positioned properly to go through the birth canal, it creates an emergency situation. The baby’s shoulders can come in contact with the mother’s pelvis in such a way that the normal birth process is thrown off.
As a result, birth injuries occur in about 1 in every 5 of those deliveries. The injuries can include damage to the brachial plexus nerves, which frequently results in a condition called Erb’s Palsy. The baby is also at risk of brain damage if the blood flow to the brain is interrupted, perhaps by a twisted umbilical cord; this is called fetal asphyxia.
It simply isn’t true to say that these consequences are merely nature taking its course. After all, this is 2012, not 1912. Doctors should be trained in how to respond to shoulder dystocia with reduction maneuvers.
Reduction maneuvers are procedures that start with changing the position of the mothers’ body. They can also include an episiotomy, which is a surgical cut between the vagina and the rectum.
Granted, doctors should not be blamed for they cannot control. But it is equally true that doctors are responsible for actions that are within their control – such as using reduction maneuvers properly in cases of shoulder dystocia.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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