Brachial plexus injury often results in loss of movement in the upper limbs. It is, unfortunately, a relatively common birth injury. A brachial plexus birth injury occurs when the group of nerve fibers running through the neck and down the arm becomes damaged during birth. The injuries are often minor but the impact of a brachial plexus injury can also be severe. A brachial plexus injury may lead to lifelong medical complications.
This kind of injury may occur if a baby is not positioned correctly during labor or if medical staff fail to respond effectively to an emergency during delivery. Brachial plexus injury is typically avoidable when medical staff is prepared and take appropriate corrective action. Many times the problem can be avoided with proper diagnosis and preparation before labor.
The severity of a brachial plexus injury can vary widely. Some may be minor and lead to only temporary discomfort. Some of these injuries, however, may lead to serious conditions such as Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy. Permanent disability may result. Your child may not have full use of their shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands as a result of a brachial plexus injury.
If your child has suffered a brachial plexus injury, the cause and consequences may be apparent immediately. They may be unable to move portions of their body and they may show signs of severe pain. However, in some cases, the consequences of a brachial plexus injury may be less obvious. Symptoms of nerve damage may not present for weeks or months after birth. If you suspect your child may have suffered a brachial plexus injury during delivery, you may need an independent medical investigator to determine the causes.
Brachial plexus injuries often occur when a baby’s neck is distressed during delivery. The baby’s neck may twist or be stretched in a way that causes damage to their brachial plexus. This may be caused if a child is not positioned safely during delivery. In some cases, it can occur as a result of misused medical equipment such as a forceps or vacuum used during labor. These injuries are avoidable if the medical staff is well-prepared for birth complications.
One of the most serious brachial plexus injuries is avulsion. In these cases, the brachial plexus is detached from the spinal cord. This cannot be repaired and will result in lifelong disability. In other brachial plexus injury cases, the injury may be less serious. For instance, ruptures occur when the nerves are damaged but do not detach from the spinal cord. The prognosis in these instances is typically good but the long-term damage may still be possible.
Speak with a Boston birth injury lawyer as soon as you can. You deserve answers if your child has suffered any kind of injury during delivery. The majority of deliveries in the United States are safe. But in cases where medical staff fail to provide services that meet the standard of care, they should be held accountable. Contact our law firm for help with your brachial plexus injury case. WE