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The risk of a brachial plexus injury during birth


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 22, 2013 in Birth Injuries

One of the most universal concerns that soon-to-be parents have is whether their baby will be born healthy or not. Many parents go to great lengths and do anything they can to make sure a baby is born healthy, but all it takes is one mistake during delivery for a baby to suffer a birth injury. If your child suffered a birth injury contact one of our experienced Connecticut personal injury attorneys today to find out about your legal options. 

Many people are familiar with common birth injuries like cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. However, there is another injury that may actually be more common during birth, and it is entirely preventable. Brachial plexus injuries can affect a baby in a number of ways, and it can be important for Connecticut parents to understand what these injuries are.

There is a small group of nerves that transmits signals from a person's spine to the shoulders, arms and hands. This network of nerves is called the brachial plexus. If the brachial plexus is stretched, severed or torn from the spine during the birth of a child, serious damage could be done. Often times, these injuries happen if a doctor forces the baby's neck away from the shoulder or applies too much pressure to the brachial plexus while removing a baby from the mother.

If the brachial plexus nerves are stretched or swollen, it is likely that any damage that is done will fully heal, often times without medical treatment. However, if the nerves are severed or torn from the spine, it is often necessary for a person to have to undergo surgery to try and repair the damage. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to recover from the most severe types of brachial plexus injuries.

This type of birth injury is entirely preventable but it can leave victims with permanent disabilities, weakness, numbness and pain. Rather than trying to ignore this problem or dealing with it alone, parents of children who have suffered a brachial plexus injury during birth can speak with an attorney about holding a negligent doctor accountable for the error.

Source: BoonvilleDailyNews.com, "Fundraiser to bring awareness to Brachial Plexus," Edward Lang, March 1, 2013