The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries occur in approximately 1 out of every 1,000 childbirths annually. A brachial plexus injury can result from shoulder dystocia when a baby’s head passes through the birth canal, and the shoulders become stuck. These devastating injuries result in paralysis or loss of sensation in these body parts. Keep reading to learn more about shoulder dystocia brachial plexus injury.
How Do Brachial Plexus Injuries Occur?
Brachial plexus injuries are usually caused by shoulder dystocia, which is a condition that occurs during childbirth when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvis. This can happen if the baby is too large or the birth canal is too small. Shoulder dystocia can be anticipated and avoided in some cases. For example, if a woman has had a previous baby with shoulder dystocia, her physician should take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Preventing Shoulder Dystocia
When shoulder dystocia does occur, the delivery team needs to act quickly and accurately to avoid a brachial plexus injury. The first step is manually releasing the baby’s shoulder from behind the pelvis. If this does not work, the next step is to perform a maneuver designed to change the position of the mother’s pelvis and release the baby’s shoulder. If these maneuvers do not work, the final step is to deliver the baby through an emergency cesarean section.
Complications Of Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries can result in many complications, such as:
- Loss of sensation in the arm
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of range of motion
- Nerve damage
In some cases, brachial plexus injuries can heal on their own. However, in other cases, the damage may be permanent. Treating a brachial plexus injury may include different kinds of therapy or surgery.
When is it Considered Negligence?
Shoulder dystocia and resulting brachial plexus injuries can be caused by negligence on the part of the medical professionals. For example, if the delivery team does not anticipate or recognize shoulder dystocia and takes steps to resolve it quickly, the baby may suffer a brachial plexus injury. If your child has suffered a shoulder dystocia injury, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
To have a successful case, you must show that the delivery team’s negligence caused your child’s injury. You also need an expert witness who can testify that the delivery team’s actions were below the standard of care and prove that your child has suffered damages due to the injury. If you believe your child’s injury could have been prevented, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at The Snyder Law Group today.
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 and settlements. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, or call us at 410-843-3476, for more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.