Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer
Giving birth to a child elicits so many emotions. So much is going on in the delivery room making sure the mother’s issues are addressed and the baby is healthy. You’ve been planning for your baby’s arrival for almost a year and this day is the culmination of all your plans and the beginning of the dreams and hopes you hold for your child and your family.
Difficulties with childbirth are not uncommon and, fortunately, most have a happy ending. However, when it is discovered that your baby is suffering from an injury could have been caused as a result of your doctor’s use of forceps or a vacuum, your dreams quickly turn to fears about the future of your baby. If you are concerned that your child’s condition may have been a result of your doctor’s possible negligence, contact a personal injury attorney with the details of your case to determine your next steps.
When a baby is delivered using forceps or a vacuum or the obstetrician uses his or her hand to forcibly pull the baby out, the nerves in the neck may become stretched, torn or compressed, resulting in paralysis of the arm and reduced muscle function. This is called brachial plexus and there are several forms of this injury.
- Erb-Duchenne, Duchenne-Erb or simply Erb’s palsy is a type of Brachial plexus palsy that just affects the upper arm.
- Klumpe paralysis is the condition when the lower part of the arm or hand of the child is affected. This is less common.
- Global palsy is the term used when the entire arm is paralyzed or impaired.
Neuropraxia is a less serious type of brachial plexus birth injury. This occurs when the nerves are not fully torn, only stretched. Minor injuries may heal on their own; however physical therapy is necessary for injuries that are more serious.
In addition to the force used by your obstetrician during delivery, there are other factors that may contribute to brachial plexus birth injuries, including:
- Breech position
- Higher than average baby weight
- Gestational diabetes
- Extended or difficult labor
Is it Possible to Prevent Brachial Plexus Injuries?
Risk factors are generally present prior to delivery. Medical providers and midwives should be aware of these risk factors and plan the delivery with these in mind. Gestational diabetes in pregnant women may be an indication of a baby with a higher birth rate and therefore delivery may be more difficult, raising the chances of brachial plexus injuries. Additional attention during labor and delivery is critical to delivering a healthy baby. Avoiding any extreme downward suction or traction when delivering the baby is crucial in preventing brachial plexus nerve injuries.
Contact an Attorney
If you are concerned that your baby’s brachial plexus birth injury was a result of negligence or medical error, contact the Philadelphia birth injury lawyer at Wieand Law Firm, LLC today. They can discuss the particulars of your case with you, determine your options, and assist you in pursuing damages for the injuries your baby suffered during delivery.