• What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

    Shoulder dystocia is a serious injury that can endanger mothers as well as their children. It most often happens during the delivery process when a baby’s shoulders are too large to fit through the birth canal. Physicians must be careful in responding to this issue, or they may inadvertently cause harm to the child. Here is what you need to know about shoulder dystocia:

    Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia
    While larger babies may be more prone to shoulder dystocia, it can happen to babies of any size. If the mother gives birth later than the due date, if an epidural is used, or if birth is induced, it may raise the risk of shoulder dystocia. However, shoulder dystocia can also happen when no risk factors are present.

    Common Complications of Shoulder Dystocia
    If a medical provider fails to observe sufficient caution or does not follow the proper procedures in responding to shoulder dystocia, they risk injuring the baby during delivery. This can lead to Erb’s palsy, a form of paralysis caused by nerve damage. Babies who sustain this damage may or may not recover, and some will have their arm function permanently impaired. Mothers may also sustain painful tearing of the vagina, uterine rupture, laceration of the rectum and postpartum hemorrhage. Often, these injuries occur when medical providers fail to predict that shoulder dystocia is likely to happen during delivery.

    If you have questions about medical care or treatment, or a catastrophic injury, don’t delay in calling Pegalis & Erickson, LLC for a no-fee consultation!  We obtain justice for our clients after hospitals, doctors, construction companies, and drivers commit preventable errors that cause harm. Reach us through our website or call  (516) 684-2900.

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  • Preventing Birth Defects

    There is never a wrong time to time to educate yourself about birth defects and how you can help to prevent them from happening. While birth defects cannot always be prevented, there are some steps you can take that will reduce the risk of them occurring.

    Get up to date on your vaccines.
    Vaccinations are important for protecting yourself from illness, but they can also protect your unborn baby. It’s important to make sure that you get the yearly flu shot, as well as the whooping cough vaccine. Make sure to consult your physician before getting vaccinated, so you can be sure that you’re doing it at the right time.

    Avoid harmful substances.
    As every physician will advise you, abstaining from tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs is essential during pregnancy. Having any level of these drugs in your body can significantly raise your risk of birth defects, so it’s important to quit using them as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

    Take folic acid every day.
    Folic acid is a B vitamin that serves a number of important functions, including promotion of new cell development. According to the CDC, you should take 400 micrograms of folic acid on a daily basis during pregnancy. This is an important step that will help to reduce your baby’s risk for birth defects of the spine and brain. You shouldn’t take higher doses than this unless your physician has recommended it.

    If you have questions about medical care or treatment, or a catastrophic injury, don’t delay in calling Pegalis & Erickson LLC for a no-fee consultation!  We obtain justice for our clients after hospitals, doctors, construction companies, and drivers commit preventable errors that cause harm. Reach us at (516) 684-2900.

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