When you are expecting a baby, your world is built around your expectations and hopes for the future, and all of that starts with a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Unfortunately, not every birth goes according to plan, and injuries can affect the mother, the baby, or both. One of the most common birth injuries is a brachial plexus injury. This is a disruption or damaging of the bundle of nerves located between the baby’s neck and shoulders, and it is most often caused when the baby’s shoulder gets caught behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. When too much pressure or tension is placed on the baby, the nerves can get torn or stretched, and this can result in long-term damage. If your infant has suffered a brachial plexus injury, it is important for you to know your legal rights. The Philadelphia birth injury attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz can help.
There are several different types of brachial plexus injuries, and they have varying degrees of severity. They include:
- Avulsion, in which the nerve is torn from the spinal cord
- Rupture, in which the nerve is torn but not where it is attached to the spinal cord
- Neuropraxia, in which the nerve is stretched but not torn
- Neuroma, in which scar tissue forms from the injury and puts pressure on the nerve. This is usually the result of having been stretched
The long-term impact of these injuries is also varied, and can result in a number of different conditions. They include:
- Complete Palsy, in which there has been damage to all of the nerves in the brachial plexus
- Erb’s Palsy, in which there has been damage to the nerves in the upper brachial plexus, resulting in loss of function in the shoulder and elbow
- Klumpke’s Palsy, in which there has been damage to the nerves in the lower brachial plexus, resulting in loss of function in the wrist and hand
- Horner’s Syndrome, in which the damage to the nerves results in dysfunction of the facial nerves, eyelids and pupil dilation
There are specific risk factors for brachial plexus injuries, and health professionals are responsible for remaining vigilant for these risks and taking appropriate actions to guard against the possibility of injury. When they fail to do so a baby can be injured during a birth. Though brachial plexus injuries often resolve on their own within a period of a few months, in many cases they require extensive physical therapy or surgery. A physician or health care professional’s failure to see the signs and risks can result in injury, and can even result in a permanent disability that can shape a child’s future.
If you or someone you love has had a child who has suffered a brachial plexus injury, it may be the result of negligence on the part of your physician. The Philadelphia brachial plexus injury attorneys of Bochetto & Lentz can assess the particulars of your case and advise you of your legal rights. Call us today to set up an appointment.
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