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Brachial plexus, preventable birth injury if you have the info

It was Brachial Plexus Awareness Week recently. Did you happen to miss it? Don't feel bad. Falling, as it did, in the midst of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it was easy to overlook. Sadly, it is an issue Maryland personal injury attorneys experienced in dealing with birth injury are sensitive to.

You don't hear about brachial plexus injury much. The term refers to when the bundle of nerves that control muscles in the shoulder, arm and fingers are stretched, pulled or torn. The damage can cause partial or permanent paralysis. The victim can lose the ability to grip or reach. It can also cause physical deformation.

According to the nonprofit United Brachial Plexus Network (UBPN), damage can occur in a number of ways. Trauma from sports or car accidents is one. The injury most often occurs during the birth of a child. An infant's shoulder lodges in the birth canal. Sometimes, the professionals handling the delivery use too much force to get the baby out of the womb.

The case of a woman in Michigan offers a glimpse of how w devastating this avoidable injury can affect a family. It also testifies to why it's important to act at the first suspicion of a problem to improve the likelihood of recovery or begin exploring with an attorney the options for seeking compensation.

The birth the woman's son was difficult from the outset. At 9 pounds, 6 ounces, he was a big boy. She describes a very hard labor. The final three hours involved a nurse pushing and a doctor pulling. A few hours after the birth, the doctor informed her that the child had Erb's palsy, caused by brachial plexus damage.

It's not clear from the woman's story how old the child is now. What is clear is that he will suffer with the damage the rest of his life. He has been in physical therapy since he was one week old and his mother says she expects PT to continue forever. The family's doctors suggest surgery might be in order to repair the nerve damage, but mom isn't sure it's the right call.

The message from the mom after all this: "Ask your doctor about injuries that can happen to your baby during birth and the routine procedures used to avoid them."

Source: The Holland Sentinel, "COLUMN - Brachial plexus: A child's injury that doesn't have to happen," Annette Manwell, Oct. 31, 2011

1 Comment

Hi my name is lizette my son has been going threw the same injury . im not to sure how it happen everything went good during labor i just have one question if any body can please answer . my son is 1 year old and 2 months and well my question is when i was pregnant by him i had got into a car accident i want to know would that be any way that my baby could of got brachial plexus from that car accident . i really want this question to be answered the hospital didn't even notice his little arm and shoulder when he came out i had to find out at the doctors his 1st app.

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