Our Oregon Lawyers Explain Brachial Plexus Injuries At Birth
A brachial plexus injury is one of the most common, if not the most common birth injuries. While it is very common, it can also cause lasting deficits for the newborn. Brachial plexus injuries can cause loss of movement, loss of sensation, and physical deformity. While not all brachial plexus injuries are avoidable, many could be avoided with careful delivery. Often times, brachial plexus injuries are due to improper physical manipulation of the baby during delivery. Our Our Oregon brachial plexus injury medical malpractice lawyers know just how serious this injury is and how avoidable this injury can be. Our lawyers are prepared to review your case for free to determine if your child was the victim of a brachial plexus injury due to medical malpractice. Below please review some information about brachial plexus injuries to learn if your child may have suffered due to the negligence of another.
Brachial Plexus Injuries Explained
The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves. The nerves run between the neck and shoulders and control the muscles in the chest, arms, shoulders and hands. It is vital that the nerves are intact in order to have proper functioning. Without proper functioning, the injury will affect the development of the babies’ fingers, arms and hands. Babies are more fragile, and therefore explains why brachial plexus injuries are so common in infants. Typically, these injuries occur at birth from significant external force, or use of instruments such as forceps which can cause significant brachial plexus injury.
There are many types of brachial plexus injuries. The types of brachial plexus injuries include the following:
Klumpke’s Palsy – In this case, there is arm weakness as a result of damage to the brachial plexus nerves. Typically, only the lower half of the arm is affected. The weakness may be temporary, but could be permanent. If the damage is severe, the individual may not be able to move his or her arm due to the severe weakness.
Erb’s Palsy – Erb’s Palsy is also a result of damage to the brachial plexus nerves. As a result of the nerve damage, typically the upper half of the extremity is affected. The weakness due to this injury may be temporary, but could be permanent. If severe, permanent injury occurs, the baby may never be able to move a portion of their arm due to severe weakness.
Shoulder Dystocia – Shoulder dystocia is different than Klumpke’s Palsy and Erb’s Palsy in that shoulder dystocia is the cause of injury, sometimes causing a type of palsy. However, shoulder dystocia can also cause other injuries such as broken bones. Shoulder dystocia occurs due to the shoulders being stuck inside the mother’s pelvis. This can be due to either the shoulders not fitting during an otherwise uncomplicated delivery, or can be due to the babies feet coming first but the arms and shoulders are stuck in place. Both scenarios can cause significant nerve damage.
Causes of Oregon Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice
There are a multitude of causes of brachial plexus injuries, some due to medical malpractice while others are due to unavoidable causes. In regard to medical malpractice, often times, the medical malpractice is due to improper assessment of the mother’s condition prior to delivery. Failure to assess if the baby will actually fit through the birth canal can be a cause of medical malpractice. If the mother was properly evaluated, the physician could have advised that a c-section should be performed instead of a vaginal delivery. The position of the fetus, size of the mother and pelvic structure ore all things that should be assessed prior to delivery.
Other causes of brachial plexus injury include:
- Excessive force on the baby, including pulling, grabbing and yanking of the baby’s head, neck or arm during delivery
- Dropping a baby on their shoulder, neck, or head
- Delay in scheduling or performing a c-section when indicated
- Improper use of tools during delivery that could cause brachial plexus injuries (i.e. forceps, scalpel, injections, etc.)
- Pulling on a baby during contractions
These are just a few of the many ways that brachial plexus injuries can occur.
How Our Oregon Brachial Plexus Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help You
As stated above, brachial plexus injuries can be quite detrimental to the baby and can affect them for the rest of their lives. While some brachial plexus injuries cannot be prevented, others can be entirely prevented with proper assessment pre-delivery, monitoring during delivery, and safe removal of the baby during the delivery process. Failure to do any of these things properly can lead to permanent nerve damage. If your baby was a victim of a brachial plexus injury, we encourage you to call our Oregon medical malpractice lawyers today. Our knowledgable lawyers can review your case to see if you are eligible to receive damages. Damages include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering amongst many other indications for damages.
If Your Child Suffered a Brachial Plexus Injury, Call Our Law Firm
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.