Improper management of shoulder dystocia

November 12, 2007

An Erb's palsy was diagnosed after the delivery of a California infant weighing 9 lb, 8 oz in 1997.

An Erb's palsy was diagnosed after the delivery of a California infant weighing 9 lb, 8 oz in 1997. The patient sued the obstetrician and claimed that negligence during delivery resulted in the Erb's palsy, and that there had been a lack of informed consent regarding a trial of labor due to the risk of shoulder dystocia. She also argued that fundal pressure was improperly used when the shoulder dystocia occurred and that a McRobert's maneuver was not used.

The obstetrician argued that the injury to the brachial plexus was most likely sustained when the shoulder was stuck as a result of uterine contractions and not from any action of the physician. A defense verdict was returned.