Brachial plexus injury is a birth injury that can often be avoided if medical personnel during a woman's labor are on the ball. When such a birth injury occurs to an infant due to an erroneous diagnosis, procedure, or other medical negligence, the term used to describe this negligence is called “medical malpractice”.
What is a brachial plexus injury in regards to an infant?
A brachial plexus injury is a tear or stretching of the network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand. This type of injury normally occurs when the head is pushed away from the shoulder while the shoulder is forcefully pressed down or when the arm is forced above the baby's head during delivery.
In a brachial plexus birth, palsy occurs when there is damage to nerves exiting the spinal cord where the neck and shoulder are joined and where the nerves coming from further down in your neck affect the forearm and hand. (If only the upper nerves are damaged, the injury is known as “Erb's palsy.”)
Depending on the severity of the damage, the injury to the baby can be short term or long term. When severe nerve damage occurs, permanent atrophy of the arm, hand and fingers is possible.
How does a brachial plexus birth injury occur?
A brachial plexus birth injury can occur when there is a difficult delivery. It can happen if the labor is prolonged, if the baby presents in a breech position (legs first), or if the baby's shoulder gets stuck in the mother's birth canal or under her pelvic bone.
There are several medically approved procedures that should be followed when any of the above occurs. However, under these conditions if the doctor improperly tries to force the baby out using the vacuum method, or creates excessive traction on the baby's head using forceps, it would be reasoned that the doctor was not using a standard of accepted medical care. If a brachial plexus birth injury occurs as a result, the doctor could be guilty of medical malpractice.
A New Hampshire birth injury attorney will fight for you
If your baby was born with a brachial plexus injury and you live in New Hampshire, you should definitely consult with an experienced New Hampshire birth injury attorney. Your attorney will help you go through the delivery room experience to determine what may have gone wrong. Was the labor prolonged? Was the fetal monitor indicating distress? Was there a sense of urgency in the delivery room? Did the doctor call for additional help?
Your birth injury lawyer will help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case and with his or her knowledge of New Hampshire birth injury law, will be able to proceed with a medical malpractice case for your baby's injury.
Contact Ryan Russman at Russman Law offices for a free birth injury consultation. Get the full compensation that you and your child deserve.