Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries: What You Need to Know
Whether you have just brought your newborn home after terrifying days of monitoring at the hospital, or the extent of your child’s disability becomes apparent later, the feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, and anger can be overwhelming. Sometimes, you may also feel shame or guilt – like you should have or could have done something different. Liro Willer Law is here to tell you that your child’s brachial plexus injury is not your fault. You trusted medical professionals to properly treat you during your prenatal care and labor and delivery. If they failed to address the signs that your child was at risk of injury or failed to properly treat you during your delivery causing your child’s injuries – It is not your fault.
As you face this new reality, many questions can race through your mind. Liro Willer Law hopes to answer a few.
What Is My Child’s Injury?
The brachial plexus (BRAY-key-uhl PLEK-sus) is a bundle of nerves that runs from the uppermost portion of the spine, under the collarbone (the clavicle), to the armpit (called the axilla in medical terms). The brachial plexus supplies feeling and movement to the arm, forearm, hand, and shoulder.
As a consequence, injuries to the brachial plexus commonly affect the arm or hand and cause lack of feeling, lack of muscle control, and/or limpness or even paralysis of those areas.
A traumatic stretching or tearing of the nerves—i.e., when the head and shoulder are pulled in opposite directions–is the cause of most injuries to the brachial plexus. In adults, this might be the result of a traumatic fall like a motorcycle accident, but in infants it is often times the result of poor management of a difficult birth.
Brachial plexus injuries are sometimes referred to as Erb’s Palsy when the nerves of the upper plexus are damaged and Klumpke’s palsy when the nerves of the lower plexus are damaged.
How Did This Happen?
The brachial plexus is at risk of injury during a delivery that is complicated by shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is a medical term which essentially means that your baby got stuck in the birth canal during delivery. It is a delivery room emergency in which, after the baby’s head has been delivered, the shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone, trapping the child and preventing labor from progressing
Injuries to the brachial plexus can occur if the medical professional places forceful pulling or traction to your baby’s head during the shoulder dystocia. Medical professionals are trained not to pull on the baby’s head during a shoulder dystocia, since this can cause stretching or tearing of the brachial plexus. Anyone delivering babies should know how to properly perform the procedures to free the shoulder safely without injuring the baby.
Too often, however, proper care is not taken, panic and poor judgment occurs and children—and their parents—suffer as a result.
How Liro Willer Law Can Help:
Skilled Analysis of Liability and Damages in Birth Injury Cases
In most states, including Massachusetts, one needs to obtain medical expert support before filing a medical malpractice suit against the professionals responsible for your child’s brachial plexus or other birth injury.
Thanks to years of experience and a firm understanding of the medicine behind birth injuries, Liro Willer Law is ready to serve your family during this difficult time. Even before filing suit, your case will be bolstered by firmly established causal connections between the mistakes the medical professionals made and the damages your family are owed.
Call the office today for a free consultation.