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Medical Verdicts

Was fundal pressure ordered for dystocia?

October 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 10
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<court>New York County (NY) Supreme Court</court>

During vaginal delivery on a 32-year-old woman, shoulder dystocia was encountered. The child was born with Erb’s palsy.

The mother claimed the Ob/Gyn ordered a nurse to apply fundal pressure, which is contraindicated with dystocia.

The physician argued that she twice applied necessary and appropriate gentle downward pressure to dislodge the shoulder.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $3.2 million.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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