Many labor and delivery doctors are dangerously unprepared for emergencies like Shoulder Dystocia. SD occurs if the baby is too large to drift down the mother’s birth canal. If that happens, the umbilical cord could wrap around the baby’s neck. That could cause cerebral palsy in just five minutes.
Frequently, doctors are unprepared because they do not see SD warning signs. More commonly, they choose to ignore them. These warning signs include maternal obesity, a history of difficult deliveries, and LGA (Large for Gestational Age) babies. Doctors often approach such hazards with an “I’ve got this” mentality. Confidence is a necessary physician trait. Overconfidence is dangerous.
If a doctor’s poor choices cause injury, whether those choices occurred inside or outside the delivery room, a Lexington personal injury attorney can obtain substantial compensation for these victims. These families need this compensation. Without it, they must probably depend on Medicaid and other government programs. In other words, you and I must pay for the doctor’s negligence. That shouldn’t happen. Doctors, like everyone else, should be responsible for their own mistakes.
Breathe Don’t Push
The first part of the BE CALM mnemonic is probably the best possible piece of advice. At this point, there is still plenty of time to make some emergency adjustments and avoid a C-section. So, there’s no need to panic. Breathing and letting nature take its course is often the best approach.
However, this advice is also counterintuitive to many doctors. As far as they are concerned, the harder the mother pushes, the sooner she’ll deliver the baby. Additionally, many doctors believe that breathing instead of pushing is nothing but a delay tactic.
The duty of care doesn’t only require doctors to do only what is best for their patients. They must do what they know is best for their patients. They cannot rely on intuition. They must rely on facts.
With the possible exception of breathing instead of pushing, leg elevation might be the best idea in these situations. Doctors call this repositioning the McRoberts Maneuver. By elevating the legs above the torso, gravity works with the mother instead of against her.
However, according to one study, the McRoberts success rate is less than 30 percent. So, in many cases, McRoberts falls into the “it seemed like a good idea at the time” category. Instead of helping the mother safely deliver her baby, the maneuver simply wastes time. And, by this point, the five-minute clock is ticking louder.
Call for Help
As mentioned above, many doctors are overconfident. Furthermore, to many professionals, asking for help is a sign of weakness. Therefore, many doctors skip this step.
That reaction does save time. However, calling for help is the last step in the BE CALM mnemonic that doesn’t include extreme measures which could cause serious injury. So, many doctors lose their last, best chance for a successful outcome because of their pride.
Apply Suprapuboc Pressure
Suprapiuboic pressure is basically like CPR to the mother’s abdomen. Pressing just above the baby’s head moves the baby past the umbilical cord and further down the birth canal. At least, that’s theoretically what happens.
By this time, the umbilical cord has been wrapped around the baby’s neck for at least two or three minutes. Simple pressure probably will not be enough to free the baby. Additionally, newborns are so fragile that any pressure, including pushing near the ehad, could cause a serious injury.
EnLarge with Episiotomy
Desperate times call for desperate measures. As we approach the end of the BE CALM mnemonic, time is almost up. As a result, desperate doctors often take desperate actions.
Episiotomies are incisions on the mother’s perineum (area between the anus and genitals) which are designed to widen the mother’s birth canal. Sometimes, these incisions have the desired impact. Generally, however, they are ineffective. Furthermore, the side-effects are severe. These effects include massive maternal bleeding, both during and after the procedure.
The Zavanelli Maneuver is the most common one in this stage. The doctor pushes the baby’s head into the mother’s vagina in preparation for a crash C-section. These operations are very risky. There’s usually little or no time to prepare the mother for surgery. And, the risk of infection is high.
Other emergency maneuvers include the Gaskin maneuver and removal of the baby’s posterior arm. The Gaskin maneuver involves putting the mother on all fours. If McRoberts didn’t work, Gaskin most likely won’t work either, especially this late in the game.
As for removal of the posterior arm, it’s better to go through life with one arm than to go through life with a severe brain injury. However, if the doctor had made better choices earlier in the process, things would not have come down to this.
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available. #goodelawyers