Pregnancy is an exciting but also nerve-wracking time. Despite all the advances in modern medicine and the safety measures of hospitals today, there are still risks involved in childbirth, including doctor error.
One common cause for medical malpractice lawsuits related to childbirth is a brachial plexus injury.
What is a brachial plexus injury?
A brachial plexus injury, in common terms, is when excessive force causes damage to the nerves that connect the spinal cord to the shoulder and arms. In a newborn, this can happen when a nurse or OB/GYN applies too much pressure or traction in the course of delivery. However, such an injury can also happen in utero, so it’s best to consult a lawyer and an expert witness about your specific case if you feel justified filing for medical malpractice.
What types of brachial plexus injuries are there?
The most common type are general brachial plexus injuries, in which the nerves are stretched, compressed or even torn. If a child’s injury affects specific vertebrae, classification into a condition such as Erb’s Palsy, total plexus involvement or Horner’s syndrome may be necessary.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms for brachial plexus injuries range from muscle weakness to complete loss of arm function. Treatment and recovery times vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury. In some cases, injuries require surgical repair.
How will this injury affect a child?
In most cases, a brachial plexus injury is not permanent. However, pain and suffering are very real, and the child’s motor-skills development will likely be affected.
What to do if your child is injured
If you have concerns or notice any suspicious after childbirth, do your research, get a medical opinion and consult a lawyer. Don’t wait. Your child is precious, and their health and development are your responsibility.