Brachial Plexus Injuries
Has your child suffered from a brachial plexus injury?
Brachial plexus injuries are one of the most common birth injuries experienced by infants. “Brachial” refers to the infant’s arm, and “plexus” to a collection of nerves that control the muscles in the baby’s arm and shoulder. This kind of birth injury occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck against the cartilage connecting to the mother’s pelvic bone while entering the birth canal during delivery. Typically, the shoulder becomes stuck immediately after the baby’s head appears, preventing the delivery from being completed normally. At this point, a doctor may offer some kind of assistance; usually holding on to the baby’s head and pulling downwards. This motion dislodges the baby’s head so that the delivery can continue normally. Unfortunately, this is dangerous and puts the baby at a high risk of injury.
There are many factors that cause the child’s shoulder to get stuck, resulting in a brachial plexus injury. Macrosomia, which simply refers to a large infant, may cause the baby’s shoulder to get stuck. If the mother has a small pelvis or is short, the child is at a higher risk of shoulder dystocia and a brachial plexus injury. Occasionally, the child’s shoulder gets stuck against the mother’s cartilage before labor begins, which easily results in a brachial plexus injury if doctors are not careful during delivery. Another, more dangerous cause of brachial plexus injuries is the use of a vacuum or forceps during delivery. If doctors are not careful, these methods will damage the child’s nerves, sometimes even dislocating the nerves from the baby’s spinal cord. If the child suffers a brachial plexus injury it may require a sling or surgery to repair the damage.
Improper Treatment of Shoulder Dystocia
At Bostwick & Peterson, we understand that doctors are medical professionals and should be held to a high standard by their patients. Doctors are taught to never pull down on the infant’s head if its shoulder is stuck, but many doctors forget or neglect their training and attempt to deliver the baby this way. If excessive force is used, - with a vacuum, forceps, or by hand – the baby may suffer injury. Brachial plexus injuries can be mild, such as a minor stretching or bruising, or severe. In severe cases, the nerves are damaged and become separated from the spine. Many birth injuries are unavoidable, but some are the result of medical malpractice or negligence. If your baby has suffered a brachial plexus injury because your doctor was careless during the child’s delivery, you may be entitled to financial compensation. A consultation with a reliable medical malpractice lawyer in Los Angeles may be your best option. At Bostwick & Peterson, we are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your child’s injury.
Did your baby suffer a brachial plexus injury during birth? Contact a birth injury lawyer in L.A. because you may be entitled to money.