Brachial palsy: A common birth injury among children

One of the most common birth injuries that happens is an injury to the brachial nerve. This can lead to brachial palsy, which results in the child losing the ability to move and flex the affected arm.

Brachial palsy is a direct result of an injury to the group of nerves in the arms and hands, the brachial plexus. In some cases, these injuries happen naturally, but it is more often the case that the injury happens because of the baby’s shoulder getting stuck in the birth canal. This is called shoulder dystocia.

How will brachial palsy affect a child’s life?

In the short-term, brachial palsy results in the loss of the ability to flex or rotate the arm. Since babies are young and still growing, there is a chance that the movement and nerve function will return within a few months.

However, if the nerve was torn, then there could be permanent damage. Permanent damage could mean that the child will never move their arm normally in the future.

Is brachial palsy caused by medical malpractice?

Brachial palsy is certainly not always caused by errors or negligence, but it could be in some instances. For example, if a medical provider uses forceps or force to pull the child, then that could end up damaging the nerves. If the medical provider is forced to use manual methods to deliver a child trapped in the birth canal, then the benefits may outweigh the risks, but there may also be times when appropriate steps were not taken to prevent injuries that could impact your right to a case.

If your child was hurt during birth, it’s worth the time to see if you have a case. Mistakes could have a lasting impact on your child’s quality of life.