Brachial Plexus Palsy Lawsuit

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Brachial Plexus Palsy Symptoms

Brachial Plexus Palsy is usually the result of a birth injury to the brachial plexus, a nerve network controlling movement and function of the arm, hand, and fingers. Brachial plexus injuries may be classified as either Erb's Palsy or Klumpke's Palsy.

During the birthing process, a baby's shoulders can become lodged behind the mother's pubic bone and cannot follow through when the head delivers. In order to safely dislodge the shoulder, the obstetrician must manipulate the child carefully, taking particular care to avoid placing undue pressure on the shoulder. If the physician employs excessive force or torque during this maneuver, the nerve tissue between the arm and shoulder may become stretched, partially torn or completely ruptured, resulting in a serious brachial plexus injury. These nerves are called the "brachial plexus nerves," emerging from the spinal cord through the vertebrae, traversing the shoulder and continuing down the arms into the hands and fingers. Brachial plexus injuries are often associated with babies larger than average at birth, but it can occur with any infant, regardless of size. About 1 or 2 babies out of every 1,000 deliveries suffer a brachial plexus injury at birth.

There are four major types of brachial plexus injury, and each of them can cause palsy:

  • Avulsion - nerve severed from the spine
  • Rupture - nerve severed, but not where it attaches to the spine.
  • Neuroma - healing of the nerve blocked by scar tissue, resulting in pressure on the injured nerved praxis. Since the nerve has not been severed, substantial recovery is possible.
  • Neuropraxia is a form of Erb's Palsy localized to the point of injury. It is a relatively mild injury most of the time. Many infants born with brachial plexus palsy have neuropraxia and sometimes recover within four to six weeks.

If your child suffers from a brachial plexus injury, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation for physical and emotional damages, medical expenses and/or lost earnings capacity. Only a trained birth defects lawyer can help you to determine whether or not there is a viable claim that ought to be prosecuted in a lawsuit. For more information, please contact a qualified birth defects attorney, as listed on this site, today for your initial consultation.

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