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Brachial plexus injury is one of the common injuries of babies during the birthing process. It occurs when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mothers pelvic bones (shoulder dystocia) preventing the natural delivery of the child.
Brachial plexus injuries can happen if and when a doctor, nurse or a midwife tries to forcibly pull or apply too much pressure on the head and neck in order to dislodge the baby. This can cause damage to the brachial plexus which controls the movement of the arms and eventually can lead to Erb’s Palsy. The nerve roots can be bruised, pinched, or completely torn.
Worse, the medical provider’s failure to respond appropriately and follow standard care procedures, and the failure to anticipate any possible abnormal situations during delivery can also contribute to brachial plexus injuries to newborns.
This can be avoided if the medical provider has expert knowledge and extensive experience to properly recognize the situation immediately and take appropriate measures and maneuvers that will safely dislodge the baby without causing injury.
There are four major types of brachial plexus injury:
Avulsion – nerves are severed from the spine
Rupture – nerves are severed but not in the attachment to the spine
Neuroma – some nerves are partially damaged; scar tissues developed causing nerve block resulting in pressure on the injured nerved praxis. Since the nerve has not been severed, substantial recovery is possible.
Neuropraxia – is a form of Erb's Palsy localized to the point of injury. It is a relatively mild injury most of the time. Many infants born with brachial plexus palsy have neuropraxia and sometimes recover within four to six weeks.
If your child suffers from brachial plexus injuries, seek the help of a leading Ohio medical malpractice attorney Jami S. Oliver for your legal options. Call 614-220-9100 to schedule an appointment.