Brachial Plexus

Brachial Plexus in Newborns

How a Plantation Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Brachial plexus occurs when the bundle of nerves around a newborn's shoulder are damaged during birth, which can cause loss of movement or weakness in the infant's arm. The cluster of nerves in the injured shoulder is called the brachial plexus, and about three children out of every 1,000 births are affected by said injury. Symptoms are apparent almost immediately after birth, and include the newborn not moving their upper or lower arm or hand, absent Moro reflex on the affected side, arm frequently or permanently bent at elbow and is held against the body, and a poor grip on the affected side. If you believe that your infant is suffering from brachial plexus, please contact the Plantation personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jason T. Corsover.

Causes of Newborn Brachial Plexus

An infant can suffer from brachial plexus for numerous reasons, but it commonly caused by the infant's head and neck pulling toward the side as the should pass through the birth control, pulling the infant's shoulders during a head-first delivery, or pressure on the baby's arm while it is raised during a feet-first delivery. There are many different forms of brachial plexus injuries, and depending on the amount of arm paralysis, a child could suffer from:

  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Erb's paralysis
  • Klumpke paralysis

When a child has brachial plexus injuries, their upper arm is usually the only part of the limb that is affected. Erb's paralysis affects both the upper and lower arm, while Klumpke paralysis only affects the hand. A child who has Klumpke paralysis may also have an eyelid that droops on the side of the face that is opposite the affected arm. Breech deliveries, larger-than-average newborns, and delivering the baby's shoulder after the head has already come out increases a newborn's chance of suffering from brachial plexus.

How do I know if my newborn has brachial plexus?

Once you notice that your child is demonstrating one of the previously mentioned symptoms, a doctor can perform a physical examination of the infant. The affected arm may flop when the infant is rolled from one side to the other, and their Moro reflex may be absent on the affected side. The Moro reflex is a type of reflex that occurs involuntarily when part of the body is stimulated. It is one of the many reflexes seen at birth, but usually disappears after three or four months. An examination of the clavicle or collarbone should also be examined via an x-ray to determine if the arm is fractured. While newborns with mild cases of brachial plexus can recover with specific treatment, newborns with severe cases of brachial plexus may require surgery, nerve grafts, nerve transfers, or other painful types of treatment.

Contact Our Plantation Birth Injury Lawyer

Since birthing techniques continue to improve over time, brachial plexus is becoming less and less common. Experienced doctors who are concerned with the baby's delivery may wish to perform a Cesarean delivery instead of having the mother perform a natural birth. Cesarean deliveries, however, come with their own risks and do not prevent any form of injury to a newborn child. People often confuse brachial plexus with pseudoparalysis, which is when a newborn is delivered with a fracture and is not moving their arm due to pain, not damaged nerves. If you believe that your baby was born with brachial plexus, our firm can help. Please contact the Plantation injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Jason T. Corsover to schedule an appointment today!