Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth
Expecting parents often dream about their child’s birth. While childbirth should be joyous, a birth injury can turn it into a stressful and fearful experience. Unfortunately, medical malpractice leaves many families suffering from the consequences of a birth injury.
One of the most common types of birth injuries is a brachial plexus injury. The birth injury lawyers at The Tawwater Law Firm can help individuals in Oklahoma City, OK, and surrounding areas explore their right to financial compensation if their child has suffered damages stemming from a brachial plexus injury at birth.
What Is a Brachial Plexus Injury?
A brachial plexus injury causes damage to the network of nerves that controls sensation and movement in the shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, and fingers. The brachial plexus can become damaged if the nerves are stretched, compressed, or torn, which is most likely to happen during birth.
During childbirth, a baby passes through the vaginal canal. If the baby is too large or is in the breech position, this transition will be especially difficult. If a child’s neck is stretched too far to one side in the birthing process or if excessive force is placed on the arms or shoulders during birth, a brachial plexus injury can occur.
Symptoms of a Brachial Plexus Injury
The effects of a brachial plexus injury are usually apparent almost immediately. Depending on what part of the brachial plexus is damaged, and how severe the injury is, our Oklahoma City clients may notice that their child suffers from any of the following symptoms:
- Complete or partial paralysis in the affected area
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness, or lack of feeling
- Oddly positioned arm or hand (i.e. a permanent bend in the elbow or a limp hand)
Treating a Brachial Plexus Injury
Treatment for a brachial plexus injury will depend on the extent of the damage incurred. Because this type of injury is unlikely to resolve on its own, it is important that parents seek diagnosis and treatment for their child as soon as possible.
In some cases, daily physical therapy alone can restore regular sensation and movement. However, more severe injuries are likely to require physical therapy along with other forms of treatment, which may include:
- Orthopedic surgery
- Occupational therapy
Should I File a Lawsuit?
A brachial plexus injury has a significant physical, emotional, and financial impact on the child and parents. It is important to consider whether these types of losses should be covered by the medical professionals who oversaw the birth. Not all brachial plexus birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice, but many are.
The types of medical neglect that may lead to a brachial plexus injury at birth include:
- Failing to respond to signs of distress
- Improper use of forceps
- Letting labor progress too long
- Neglecting to perform a C-section
If parents suspect that their child’s brachial plexus injury was preventable, our Oklahoma City attorneys can help them consider whether they should file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If your child has suffered from a brachial plexus birth injury, the lawyers at The Tawwater Law Firm can help you explore your right to financial compensation. To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, reach out to us online at your earliest convenience or call our practice at (405) 673-8021.