Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that begin in the spinal cord in the neck, and control movement in the hand, elbow, and shoulder. Injury to this clump of nerves occurs in up to 2 per 1,000 births, and is often the result of negligence on the part of doctors or other medical personnel.
Brachial plexus injury may spark birth injury lawsuit
Brachial plexus injuries can result in debilitating conditions known as Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, or total brachial plexus palsy in which the arm, shoulder, hand, or a combination of these are paralyzed or otherwise damaged.
These conditions may require extended medical care and surgery. If you feel your child may have suffered a brachial plexus injury as a result of medical malpractice, the attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch may be able to help you win compensation by filing a birth injury lawsuit.
What causes brachial plexus injuries?
All brachial plexus injuries are caused by damage to the nerves that make up the brachial plexus. During birth, newborns can sustain such injuries when their shoulders become trapped within the birth canal, often at the mother’s pubic bone.
Babies that are large in size, breech births, and prolonged labor can all increase the risk of this injury, and the actions of the medical staff (or lack thereof) may warrant a brachial plexus lawsuit.
Stretching and pressure to this area can also cause injury. For example, if the person assisting in the delivery has to deliver the baby quickly and exerts too much force to pull the infant out of the birth canal, one side of the baby’s neck may be stretched, and an injury to the nerves there may result. The use of forceps, vacuums, and other tools during delivery can also increase the risk.
Serious damage may lead to a birth injury lawsuit
Doctors typically organize brachial plexus damage in four categories:
- Neuropraxia: a stretch injury that shocks but doesn’t tear the nerves. Usually heals on their own.
- Neuroma: a stretch injury that damages some of the nerve fibers. Some recovery may occur.
- Rupture: a stretch injury that actually tears the nerves. Will not heal by itself.
- Avulsion: the nerve is actually torn from the spinal cord—the most serious type.
Any of the last three types of birth injuries may provide a suitable basis for a brachial plexus lawsuit.
A brachial plexus lawsuit may help with expenses
It’s extremely difficult on families when a child is born with a brachial plexus injury, particularly when the medical staff may be to blame.
If you have had a child that is now unable to use his or her arm, shoulder, or hand because of this type of injury, and you believe medical negligence may be to blame, contact the attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch for a free evaluation. A brachial plexus lawsuit may help to provide you and your family some deserved financial relief.