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Brachial Plexus Injury

Help With Nerve Damage Caused By Birth Injuries - Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

While thousands of babies are born every day, the process of labor and delivery can be risky, and a variety of complications can occur that may result in injuries to a newborn infant. Brachial plexus injuries may take place if the proper procedures are not followed when delivering a child.

What Is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that send signals from brain through the spine to the arms and hands. Injuries to the brachial plexus can occur during birth if shoulder dystocia occurs, or if improper force is used when the doctor pulls the child through the birth canal, including when using tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors.

Brachial plexus injuries may take one of the following forms:

  • Avulsion - This occurs when the root of a nerve is torn away from the spinal cord. This is the most severe type of brachial plexus injury.
  • Rupture - This occurs when a nerve is partially or fully torn at a location other than at the spinal cord.
  • Neuropraxia - This is the most common and least severe type of brachial plexus injury, and it occurs when a nerve is stretched and damaged but not torn or severed. In some cases, this type of damage may heal, but intervention and treatment may also be required.
  • Neuroma - This occurs when scar tissue forms around a damaged nerve, putting pressure on the nerve and preventing it from sending signals properly.

In some cases, torn or severed nerves may be repaired through surgery. However, nerve damage is often permanent and irreversible.

Effects of Brachial Plexus Injuries

When nerves in the brachial plexus are injured during birth, this can lead to a variety of long-term issues, including Erb's Palsy and Klumpke's Palsy. A child may suffer partial or full paralysis of their arm, abnormal movement of the arm, atrophy of arm muscles, and limited sensation in the arm or hand. A child may also experience Horner's Syndrome, which involves a drooping of one eyelid and an abnormally small pupil in one eye.

In many cases, brachial plexus injuries lead to serious nerve damage that requires extensive treatment. Surgery may be needed, including performing nerve transplants or nerve grafts to repair damaged nerves and restore some function to the arm or hand. Physical therapy is often necessary to improve the range of motion in a child's arm and hand and increase muscle strength. Pain medications and muscle relaxants may also be necessary.

A child with a brachial plexus injury may be able to recover through medical intervention, or they may be permanently disabled. Depending on the severity of the injury, the costs of treatment can be high, and impairment to the arm or hand can have a long-term impact on a child's well-being. If your child has suffered this type of injury, you should be sure to understand your options for receiving financial assistance that will allow you to provide the care they need.

In many cases, brachial plexus injuries occur because of medical negligence on the part of doctors or nurses during a child's birth. At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we will examine the circumstances of your child's injury and help you determine whether you may be able to take legal action to receive financial compensation. To schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help, contact us at 312-945-1300.

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