Shoulder dystocia occurs during vaginal delivery when, after delivery of the fetal head, the fetal shoulders become impacted against the maternal pelvis. This causes the baby to become stuck in the birth canal, requiring additional obstetrical maneuvers beyond gentle traction to enable delivery.
We are often asked by parents of children with cerebral palsy whether or not their child's cerebral palsy may have been preventable with appropriate medical care. This is a question rarely addressed by the child's treating physicians. Answering this question involves bringing together the medical opinions of a variety of carefully selected medical specialists who must each contribute their opinion on discrete areas of the medical care provided or the injury suffered by the child. Since this does not impact upon the medical treatment being provided to the child, this typically does not occur in the clinical setting. One exception is when the hospital performs a Quality Assurance Review in response to potential concerns about the quality of the medical care provided to a pregnant mother and/or her child; however, the results of these investigations are kept confidential and are not disclosed to the parents of the child with cerebral palsy.