Brachial Plexus Injuries in Newborns
The network of nerves in the shoulder that carries movement signals from the spinal cord to the arms and hands is called the brachial plexus. These nerves enable a person to raise their arm and do other things with their arm and hands. The brachial plexus nerves are also sensory. They let a person know if something is too cold or hot. Newborns can suffer a brachial plexus injury during birth if their nerves are overstretched. Often, brachial plexus injuries are temporary. However, sometimes children suffer permanent injuries to their brachial plexus nerves. Brachial plexus injuries in newborns can occur for various reasons, but often these injuries occur due to medical malpractice. In this article, we discuss how brachial plexus injuries in newborns happen, the symptoms of brachial plexus injuries, how brachial plexus injuries in children are treated, and your legal rights if your child suffered a brachial plexus injury due to medical malpractice.
How Do Brachial Plexus Injuries in Newborns Happen?
It is estimated that brachial plexus birth injuries occur in about one to three out of every one thousand births. Brachial plexus injuries in newborns can occur for various reasons. However, often these injuries occur because a healthcare provider failed to adhere to the medical standard of care. For example, suppose a medical professional pulls too hard on a baby’s head or uses excessive lateral traction (pulling the baby sideways). In that case, the brachial plexus nerves might get overstretched and tear.
The following are other negligent actions that can cause brachial plexus injuries in children:
- Misuse of delivery tools
- Medication errors during delivery
- Failure to identify and address shoulder dystocia, which is when one or both of a baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery
- Failure to perform a timely cesarean section (CS)
- Placing unnecessary pressure on a baby’s shoulder during a breech delivery
- Inadequate training
Symptoms of a Brachial Plexus Injury
The following are some of the common symptoms of brachial plexus injuries in children:
- Lack of movement
- Weak grip
- Arm held against the body
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Lack of sensation
How To Treat Brachial Plexus Injuries in Children
If you believe your child suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth, you should see a specialist for a timely and accurate diagnosis. Once a doctor diagnoses your child with a brachial plexus injury, they will advise you on the best treatment. The following are some of the options your doctor may recommend:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Assistive devices
In mild cases, children may recover without treatment.
Your Legal Rights if Your Child Suffered a Brachial Plexus Injury Due to Medical Malpractice
If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may have the right to recover financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim. If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, it is advisable that you hire an attorney. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through the legal process, ensure your rights and those of your child are protected, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Atlanta Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth, contact our skilled Atlanta birth injury lawyer at Carroll Law Firm to get the legal help you need and deserve.