Failure to Document History of Shoulder Dystocia, Inform Mother of Risks Prompts $1M Settlement

February 6, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​An obstetrician in Massachusetts has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations of negligence in the failure to properly document a pregnant woman's history of shoulder dystocia and for permanent injuries to her infant who experienced shoulder dystocia during a vaginal delivery, states the December 2014 issue of Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). The mother had a history of shoulder dystocia, but it was not documented in her medical record. The plaintiff claimed that because of the lack of documentation, the mother was not informed about the likelihood of encountering shoulder dystocia again or provided the option of having a cesarean delivery, which could have prevented harm to the child. The infant, who experienced shoulder dystocia during birth, was diagnosed with a permanent brachial plexus injury.

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