Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
Medical progress in obstetrics, birth and delivery has grown by leaps and bound over the centuries, making the process easier and safer for today’s woman than ever before. That does not mean that the process is carefree and without any danger, however. In fact, childbirth can be very dangerous for both mother and baby. During pregnancy, women form a bond with their doctor. They trust him or her with their very lives and that of their child. When a birth injury occurs, it is emotionally devastating. Mothers and families feel betrayed and angry that their trust was broken and their child harmed. Parents are heartbroken for their ailing infant and the poor baby is the one to suffer. One of several birth injuries that are almost always the fault of medical personnel is brachial plexus injuries.-
What Are Brachial Plexus Injuries?
The neck has a network of nerves called the brachial plexus, which contain the radial, median, and ulnar nerves. These nerves branch out and form the basis of movement for the arms, shoulder, hand and forearms by sending signals to the spine. Injuries to these nerves can cause paralysis, both partial and complete of the arm. Stretching, piercing, severing or extreme pressure to these nerves during birth can cause weakness in the baby’s arms or some form of paralysis.
What Causes Brachial Plexus Injuries?
Brachial plexus as a birth injury is called birth related brachial plexus palsy or obstetric brachial plexus palsy. It happens when the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal. Ideally, the doctor would realize this before vaginal delivery takes place. If not, the baby essentially is stuck in the birth canal, often with a shoulder behind the pelvic bone. The doctor will attempt to manipulate the baby out of the birth canal. If he or she applies too much pressure to the brachial plexus nerves or severs them with forceps, the baby is affected. In some cases, the nerves are detached from their connection to the spinal cord. The injury occurs when the shoulder presses down forcefully while the head pushes up and away from that shoulder.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries categorize as follows:
- Avulsion –the nerve pulls from the spinal cord and there is no chance of recovery
- Rupture – the nerve stretches and partially tears
- Neurapraxia – the nerve has been gently stretched and/or compressed but is still attached and has a highly positive prognosis for rapid recovery
- Axonotemesis – the axons, equivalents of the copper filaments in an electric cable, severs. The prognosis for recovery is moderate and hopeful
- Neurotemesis – the entire nerve divides. The prognosis for recovery is very poor.
- Neuroma – a type of tumor that grows from a tangle of divided axons, known as nerve endings, which fail to regenerate. The prognosis depends on what percentage of axons manage to regenerate.
Most often babies are able to fully recover from an injury of this type. In rare cases, there is severe or total arm paralysis. Most often, the symptoms slowly dissipate as the nerves recover. Sometimes surgery is required.
If you or a loved one has experienced the tragedy of a child born with a birth injury, you will need an attorney with specific experience. Call Moseley Collins at (916) 444-4444 for a free consultation.
Moseley Collins is a personal injury attorney serving those badly hurt throughout California. There is absolutely NO FEE to discuss your case and there is absolutely no fee unless we win and get you the money you are entitled to.
We are on your side and know exactly what to do to get you compensation and justice. Additionally, we have frequently worked with many other families who have faced the difficult challenges that you are now confronting because of your child’s birth injury. We truly understand your situation, and will do everything possible in our power to help you!
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Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-4444