Legal: Use of oxytocin blamed for shoulder dystocia

July 1, 2008

After giving oxytocin, shoulder dystocia occurred.

An Ohio woman delivered vaginally after being given oxytocin and a shoulder dystocia occurred. The child was subsequently diagnosed with a mild brachial plexus injury.

The woman sued the obstetrician and claimed the pregnancy was high risk and thus it was negligent to allow her to be managed by certified nurse midwives. She claimed that the oxytocin caused hyperstimulation and dysfunctional labor, which led to the shoulder dystocia. She also alleged excessive traction was applied that caused the brachial plexus injury.

A $1,121,000 verdict was returned.