Brachial palsy is paralysis or weakness in one of the newborn’s arms caused by damage to the nerves around the shoulder. Paralysis to the upper arm is called Erb’s Palsy and paralysis to the lower brachial plexus is called Klumpke’s Palsy.
Brachial palsy is the result of shoulder dystocia, a complication that occurs when the baby’s shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone causing the baby’s head and neck to be pushed to one side when the shoulders move through the birth canal. An obstetrician and any other treating physicians should be able to identify any potential risks for shoulder dystocia, including advanced maternal age, heavy maternal stature, breech delivery, prolonged labor, a delayed c-section, a larger than average baby and/or misuse of forceps or vacuum extraction. The Chicago area brachial palsy attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can help you determine whether negligence was the cause of your child’s shoulder injury.
Some of the symptoms of brachial palsy include:
• Absence of a reflex to startle on one side
• An arm flexed at the elbow and held against the body
• Decreased grip strength
• Lack of spontaneous movement in the hand or arm
While most babies recover from shoulder injuries within a few months of birth, in some severe cases, surgery or extensive physical therapy is required.
Although brachial palsy can be occur through the fault of no one, it is frequently caused by negligence or medical malpractice and, therefore, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney if your child suffers from a birthing shoulder injury such as brachial palsy. The Chicago area personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices are knowledgeable of the wide range of birth injuries and can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, time away from work and pain and suffering.