You may be familiar with some common forms of birth injury. These include bone fractures, cerebral palsy, and facial paralysis. All of these injuries are either well-known or self-explanatory. But what about brachial plexus birth injuries? These are among the most common forms of birth injury, occurring in upwards of 3 out of every 1,000 births. Despite this, you might not know the first thing about them. Here are some of the basics.
What is the brachial plexus?
At its most basic level, the brachial plexus is a group of nerves that sends signals from your spinal cord to your arm, shoulder, and hand. A properly functioning brachial plexus is essential to performing everyday motor function. Most commonly, injury to the brachial plexus can occur when it is overstretched. Minor injuries to the brachial plexus will typically heal without medical intervention. In more severe cases, corrective surgery can be necessary. But at its worst, a brachial plexus injury can inflict a lifelong disability on the victim.
How does it get injured during birth?
Damage to the brachial plexus is a commonly occurring form of birth injury. This injury is unlikely to occur during an uncomplicated delivery. But if the delivery is especially difficult or drawn-out, the odds of an injury of this sort increase. It also becomes likelier in the event of a breech delivery, or if the baby’s shoulders are too wide to fit through the birth canal. This can lead to the brachial plexus being overstretched or ruptured.
In some cases, the injury could be caused or exasperated by medical malpractice. This is a legal term that refers to the negligence of medical professionals causing injury in their patients. A negligent doctor could cause a brachial plexus injury in a newborn by pulling too hard when attempting to assist the delivery. They may also be able to avert this form of injury by monitoring the situation and using their informed judgment. It can be hard to accept that the professionals who we trust to deliver our babies safely can end up harming them. If this has happened to you, a lawsuit could help ease the pain you feel and cover the cost of treatment.
What happens next?
If you notice any of the following in your newborn, they may have experienced a brachial plexus injury:
- Limp or hanging arm
- Weak grip
- Incomplete movement
If you have observed any of the above, bring your child to a medical specialist. They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide you with a prognosis depending on the severity of the problem. In some cases, physical therapy will address the issue. In more severe instances, surgery or nerve grafts can remedy the impacts of a brachial plexus injury. However, keep in mind that it may take up to 8 months after the operation for improvements to be noticeable.
The treatment necessary to improve your child’s quality of life can be immensely costly. Keep in mind that a lawsuit can help to cover these costs.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.