Shoulder Dystocia

One of the most heartbreaking things a parent can learn is that their otherwise healthy baby has sustained a brachial plexus injury during delivery.

Do we have experience handling brachial plexus cases?

Yes. Our firm has vast experience in handling brachial plexus injury cases. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and their families. Furthermore, we have ensured that our clients recieve the necessary medical treatment to maximize the function of their injured arm and live a normal productive life. Many times this treatment includes physical and occupational therapy.

What is a brachial plexus injury and how can it be caused?

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that allows for muscle control of the shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Brachial refers to the arm and plexus refers to a network of nerves. Brachial plexus injuries most often occur with a shoulder dystocia presentation during delivery.

A shoulder dystocia presentation is when a baby’s head has been delivered, but the shoulders are stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone and cannot be freed. This is considered an obstetrical emergency. If excessive traction or force is applied to the baby’s head by the physician or the mom’s belly by a nurse to release the shoulder, the brachial plexus nerves can be stretched causing the injury. This injury is also known as Erb’s palsy.

Although many babies with brachial plexus injuries are larger than average at birth (macrosomic), newborns of all sizes can have these injuries. The general consensus is that brachial plexus injuries occur in 2-5 out of 1000 births. Unfortunately, with the proper maneuvers, nearly all cases of shoulder dystocia can be resolved without any injury to the baby.

What are the symptoms of a brachial plexus injury?

Possible symptoms of a brachial plexus injury can include:

  • Limp or paralyzed arms
  • No muscle control and no feeling in the arm or hand
  • Little control over the wrist and hand
  • Use of the hands but no use of the shoulder or elbow muscles
  • In the most severe cases, an entire arm can be paralyzed and the hand and fingers hang limp
  • Winged scapula
  • Atrophy of muscles in affected arm
  • Inability to lift the arm normally

How can we help you?

Investigating whether your child’s brachial plexus injury was preventable requires experienced legal assistance. The lawyers and medical staff at Harry S. Cohen & Associates, PC are here for you, your child, and your family. Our dedication to our clients, combined with our knowledge of the law, enables us to determine the correct course of action for your family.

If you believe your child suffers from a brachial plexus injury caused by the carelessness or negligence of a physician, please contact our firm immediately. Let our caring staff review your case at no charge. We can assist victims of brachial plexus injuries and their families to receive much needed compensation. We understand that brachial plexus injuries change the lives of both victims and their families.

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Publisher: Harry S. Cohen and Associates, P.C.