According to the British Medical Journal, brachial plexus injury (BPI) during childbirth can be caused by shoulder dystocia. This is a condition when the infant’s shoulders become stuck under the mother’s pelvic bones. If the infant’s neck is stretched too far during delivery, the nerves in the neck and shoulder can pull away from the spinal column.
Brachial Plexus Basics
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves. This network of nerves carry signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand. Brachial Plexus injuries are caused by damage to these nerves. Brachial plexus injuries can result from improper care during delivery. If a doctor, nurse, or midwife pulls the baby by the shoulder during delivery, this injury can result. Stretched or compressed nerves can cause a brachial plexus injury.
Brachial plexus palsy damages most or all of the plexus. If the damage is to nerves in the upper part, it is called Erb's palsy. If the injury is to the lower part of the plexus, the injury is called a Klumpke’s Palsy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common pattern of brachial plexus injury to the baby during a difficult childbirth is Erb's palsy.
Erb's Palsy Treatment
The Mayo Clinic states that in most babies with Erb's palsy, the brachial plexus injury heals without treatment, but about 10 percent of children eventually may benefit from surgery. If the injury doesn't heal on its own in the first month, the baby should be evaluated at a center specializing in treating brachial plexus injuries.
Mayo specialists have found the best results from performing surgery four to six months after birth, before the nerve damage becomes permanent.
If your baby or young child has a brachial plexus injury, think about the actions of people assisting in your delivery. Improper medical care happens. Sometimes, it causes a brachial plexus injury. You may have doubts about contacting an Erb’s Palsy attorney about filing and Erb’s Palsy lawsuit. You may worry about getting your doctor or hospital in trouble. Remember, however, that you can help prevent this from happening again. It may also help ease the financial burden your family has been left with in care costs. Call a nurse case manager at Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.