An Overview of Brachial Plexus Injuries and How They Effect Babies

When many people imagine the birth of a child, they think only of the miracle of the birth and the special moment shared by the family. Unfortunately, childbirth is not always as smooth and magical as it is often portrayed on television and in movies. The act of childbirth is extremely physical and can result in injuries to both the baby and the mother. One such injury that babies may suffer is known as a brachial plexus injury.

Five Facts About Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries

The following is an overview about brachial plexus birth injuries:

  1. A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the network of nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand.
  2. A brachial plexus injury occurs when the nerves are stretched, compressed, or torn.
  3. Brachial plexus injuries often happen during birth. They can occur as a result of the infant’s head and neck pulling toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal.
  4. A brachial plexus injury can also occur as a result of pulling on the infant’s shoulders during a head-first delivery.
  5. Brachial plexus injuries can also occur as a result of pressure being applied to a baby’s raised arms during a feet-first delivery.

While brachial plexus injuries are less common today than in the past due to improved delivery techniques, they do still occur. The decrease in this type of injuries is largely attributed to the more frequent use of cesarean deliveries when a doctor is concerned about the potential for a difficult delivery. It is important to note, however, that a cesarean delivery does not eliminate the risk of a brachial plexus injury, it merely reduces it.

A baby may be at an increased risk for this type of injury if he or she is delivered feet-first, is larger than the average sized newborn, or if there is difficulty delivering the shoulder after the head has already come out.

If your baby was born with a brachial plexus injury, you may be entitled to compensation. We can help you pursue a claim just as we have helped many other families obtain the compensation they deserve. We encourage you to check out our many client testimonials for more information.