While there are many naturally occurring complications that can arise during the delivery of a baby, nobody wants their child to suffer from preventable medical negligence in the delivery room. Brachial plexus palsy and related injuries can occur when nerves on either side of the neck that run from the spine to the arms are somehow damaged. In most cases, one arm or side is impacted by the injury. In rare cases, both arms are affected. Depending upon the severity of the injury, the child could have mild symptoms like reduced sensitivity or muscle control to full paralysis of the arm. Brachial plexus injuries typically happen when the baby’s shoulder is stuck on the mother’s pelvis.
There are a variety of safe and accepted maneuvers and tools that can be used if a baby’s shoulder is stuck. If a vacuum extractor or forceps are used improperly or if unsafe maneuvers are employed, the baby will be at risk for a potentially irreversible injury. The old adage about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure also works in situations involving brachial plexus. Doctors and medical teams should consider all possible risk factors and avoid negligently prolonging treatment in cases where immediate intervention could prevent a potentially damaging birth injury. Listed below are some risk factors for brachial plexus.
- Brachial Plexus Risk Factors
- Prenatal diabetes
- Small pelvis
- Maternal obesity
- Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
- Large baby
- Long or complicated labor
- Breech birth
- Post-term pregnancy
- Previous delivery of large baby
- Medical negligence
Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus
Erb’s palsy can occur as a result of a brachial plexus birth injury. This type of palsy is a paralysis that impacts a part of the arm. Each case is different, and symptoms can range from mild paralysis all the way to full paralysis of the effected arm. Typically, the shoulder will show the most damage. Arm movement may be limited. It’s possible to have functioning motor skills and a working hand. Erb’s palsy is often caused from a doctor forcefully pulling on a baby’s arm during delivery.
- Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
- Partial paralysis
- Full paralysis
- Erb’s Palsy
- Weakened arm or hand
- Claw-like hand
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Weak motor skills
- Global Palsy
Long-Term Medical Expenses
Depending upon the severity and circumstances of the brachial plexus birth injury, you could be looking at months, years or even life-long physical therapy for your child. Sometimes, additional surgical interventions are needed. Medical expenses over months, years or a lifetime can be astronomical. A child may also need braces, splints or other medical devices during treatment and recovery. Of course, it’s always a parent’s top priority to ensure their children have all possible resources to improve health and wellbeing after a birth injury caused by medical negligence. If you think medical malpractice resulted in a brachial plexus injury in your baby, you need to get with a personal injury lawyer who has proven birth injury case experience as soon as possible.
When medical negligence happens in the delivery room, a child’s life can be irreversibly changed in an instant. We know that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the country, but how often are preventable medical errors responsible for irreversible life-long conditions at birth? When doctors and medical teams engage in dangerous or negligent maneuvers in the heat of the moment, they put lives at risk. Delivery teams need to remain calm and always use medically accepted and safe maneuvers if a baby’s shoulder is stuck. Most importantly, they should focus on prevention to ensure a delivery is a smooth and safe as possible for mother and baby.
The expenses associated with brachial plexus palsy, Erb’s palsy or any type of birth injury can be astronomical. Additionally, you and your child are going to have to cope with the injury and the impact to mobility, motor skills and life on a daily basis. When medical negligence or errors in the delivery room leave babies with irreversible nerve damage, families need justice and compensation. The first step after any birth injury needs to be getting in touch with a lawyer who has proven case experience. You need to focus on your little one. Let a personal injury lawyer be your advocate during the complicated process of medical negligence investigation.
If your child suffered from a brachial plexus birth injury in Jackson or in any of the surrounding Metro Area communities, contact the skilled and proven Personal Injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation.
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