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Brachial Palsy

West Virginia Birth Injury Attorneys

Birth injuries can cause a significant amount of damage to a child, particularly if the physician isn’t paying attention or doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Brachial palsy is one of the side effects that can happen during a difficult delivery. If your child was injured by the negligence of a medical professional, make sure you seek compensation for the medical care they may need as a result.

Our skilled West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys can help. Berthold Law Firm, PLLC has more than 70 years of experience helping people with their personal injury cases. Let us see what we can do for you.

Talk to us about the specifics of your situation in a free case consultation today by calling (304) 605-2040.

What Causes Brachial Palsy?

A brachial plexus is a group of nerves around the shoulder. During a difficult delivery, an injury can be caused when the baby’s shoulder stretch too much during delivery, when there is too much pressure on the baby’s raised arms during a breech delivery, or when the infant’s head and neck pull toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal.

Typically, those who have a breech delivery are more likely to give birth to an infant with a damaged brachial plexus. Likewise, a larger-than-average newborn can cause issues with a vaginal birth. Also, if there is a problem delivering the baby’s shoulder after the head has already come out, the shoulder’s position could cause injury to the braichal plexus.

Symptoms of Brachial Palsy

Brachial plexus palsy most often affects the upper arm only. It is also known as Duchenne-Erb or Erb-Duchenne paralysis. Klumpke paralysis affects the lower arm and is a much rarer condition.

This type of condition can cause the following symptoms:

  • No movement in the child’s upper or lower arm or hand
  • Arm bent at the elbow and held against the body
  • Decreased grip on the affected side
  • Absent Moro reflex (spreading and un-spreading the arms when the infant feels like he or she is falling) on the affected side

Long-Term Consequences

Most infants will recover from a brachial plexus injury within 3 to 9 months. Those who don’t may have damage too severe to recover. Surgery might be considered if some strength hasn’t returned to the affected muscles by the time the baby is 3 to 9 months old; however, it’s not clear whether surgery to fix the nerve problem can actually help. Some children end up experiencing permanent abnormal muscle contractions or permanent, partial, or total loss of function in the affected nerves. If the nerves fail to work, the condition could cause paralysis of the arm or arm weakness, or a permanent brachial palsy.

Seek Compensation from an Experienced Attorney

Brachial palsy could just be an accident, but some doctors may be able to prevent the injury with some care. If a physician fails to notice the baby’s shoulder is trapped against the mother’s pelvic bone, he or she may rush to extract the infant before the umbilical cord gets compressed inside the birth canal. By using excessive force to extract the infant, the network of nerves that make up the brachial plexus could be harmed. Many brachial plexus birth injuries could be avoided if the doctor is conscientious and pays close attention to both the mother and the child.

If you’re unsure whether or not you have a case against your physician, talk to one of our West Virginia personal injury attorneys about your case today. If your child’s injury will lead to future extensive medical treatment, you should be compensated for the costs of that treatment. Our lawyers can help you evaluate your case and determine what the best course of action might be in your situation.

Talk to us in a free consultation today. Call us at (304) 605-2040 or fill out our online form to schedule a conversation with us.

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