Brachial Plexus Palsy

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Brachial plexus palsy is a condition caused by a birth injury. In a difficult delivery, particularly one where the mother has a small birth canal, or the child is overly large, the brachial plexus nerves can be damaged. The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves that carries information to and from the shoulder, hand, and arm. These nerves are found in the neck at the top of the spine.

Sometimes, when a baby is stuck in the birth canal, the doctor has to help the baby out by tugging on the neck and shoulders. However, if too much force is used, particularly on the shoulders, the brachial plexus could be injured. Another way that this could happen is if the baby's shoulders get stuck on the mother's pelvic bone.

A baby with a damaged brachial plexus will have one arm that hangs limp by its side. While babies do not have much control over their limbs, they typically flail their legs and arms after birth in wild, uncontrolled movements. A baby with a damaged brachial plexus will not move one arm at all. Even after being stimulated by nurses, the arm does not move.

If this occurs, the child needs medical treatment immediately. Brachial plexus palsy can be treated and corrected if it is found right away. Chiropractic treatments, surgery, and physical therapy can help the condition. If it is left untreated, the baby will grow abnormally, and the useless hand and arm will often grow small due to lack of use. If brachial plexus palsy is diagnosed in a baby, the doctor's orders must be followed exactly to avoid more injury to the child and to allow as much healing as possible. Also, any exercises given to the child need to be done daily.

While brachial plexus palsy is a serious concern, most children are able to adapt to their injury without trouble. However, if medical malpractice was the cause of the child's injury, parents should pursue the help of a birth injury attorney. This helps them to get the money needed to cover physical therapy and other medical care needs their child faces in the future. An example of medical malpractice would be a baby that the doctor knew was going to be large, yet did not opt for a caesarean section delivery, or waited until it was too late to perform one.

A lawyer will be able to prove whether or not the brachial plexus palsy was caused by negligence on the part of the nursing staff or attending physician during birth. Without the help of the lawyer, most parents will not receive compensation for the losses they face in caring for their injured child. A birth injury lawyer will work to protect the rights of your child in court. Often, with the help of a skilled lawyer, doctors reports and other documentation are all that are needed to prove the extent of your child's injuries.

Many birth injury or personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that they do not get paid unless they win your case. This is beneficial to you as the parent, because you will not have to worry about expense of paying a lawyer until you win the case.

If you feel that your child might have brachial plexus palsy due to negligence on the part of the doctor or nursing staff that delivered your child, talk to a lawyer. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations, where the lawyer will help you look objectively at your case and determine whether or not the medical personnel were at fault. If they were, you are eligible to recover damages and compensation to offset the costs of your injured child's medical care, and to help give him or her a better life in the future.


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