For many families, HIE and shoulder dystocia are medical issues which are only learned about through experience. Although these conditions are not typical, when they occur, they can present serious challenges not only for the baby, but also the family.

In this birth injury educational article, and supporting video, I am going to explain shoulder dystocia and HIE from a medical legal standpoint. Proper diagnosis and treatment can go a long way in helping with good outcomes in this situation.



When the statement, “My baby was stuck during delivery” is made, the mother is referring to the medical condition shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby becomes trapped behind the mother’s pelvis during delivery. This condition creates an emergency in the delivery room because in the worst-case situation, death can occur.

Doctors are taught to diagnose and treat shoulder dystocia. They can, for example, position mom certain ways. In addition, doctors can use certain maneuvers to treat the condition, like the McRoberts maneuver.

Injuries to a baby’s arm/hand can sometimes occur during shoulder dystocia when doctors perform the maneuvers the wrong way, causing injury the brachial plexus nerves. Parents can understand the severity of the injury to the arm/hand with the help of a neurologist.



A shoulder dystocia condition can lead to a traumatic brain injury when problems with the umbilical cord arise. The umbilical cord has been called a baby’s lifeline by some because of its importance in not only a baby’s development, but also overall survival. The cord is responsible for providing nutrients to the baby through mom. Blood and oxygen are delivered through the cord.

During shoulder dystocia, in some cases the baby’s umbilical cord can become compressed. Compression of the umbilical cord can lead to a reduced level of blood and oxygen for the baby.

HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, in its basic nature is a reduced level of blood and oxygen, leading to a brain injury. This is how a baby, who is experiencing shoulder dystocia can also in some cases experience a brain injury.



If you have more questions about your baby’s brain injury at birth, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I speak with families all the time about these types of issues and I would be happy to listen to your story.


When investigating these issues for families, one of the main things we must know is what happened during labor and delivery? Did the doctors depart from the standard of care owed to your baby, causing the injury?


You can reach me at 301-850-4832.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815


1-833-4 BABY HELP

Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties. blgesq Maryland birth injury attorneys