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What is a brachial plexus injury?

Sadly, infants sometimes suffer injuries during the course of their birth. One type of injury that infants sometimes suffer during a delivery is a brachial plexus injury.

A brachial plexus injury is a damaging of a certain nerve collection. This nerve group is known as the brachial plexus and it is located around the shoulder. Damage to this nerve group can cause an infant to experience weakness or movement loss in the affected arm. What parts of the arm are impacted depends on the nature/extent of the injury. 

Some newborns who suffer brachial plexus injuries experience a full recovery from the injury within months of their birth. Other newborns, however, aren't so lucky. In some instances, the negative effects a brachial plexus injury causes an infant to experience are permanent.

There are a variety of things that could result in an infant suffering a brachial plexus injury during delivery. One is medical staff acting improperly during the course of the delivery.

Thus, it is extremely important for medical professionals involved in the delivery of children to take appropriate steps to avoid missteps that could result in a newborn suffering a brachial plexus injury. This includes taking appropriate measures when circumstances are present that create a higher-than-usual risk of brachial plexus injuries occurring. Such circumstances include delivery difficulties arising regarding a baby's shoulder, a delivery being a breech delivery or the child being delivered being bigger than average.

If a brachial plexus injury a newborn suffered occurred due to negligence by the medical staff that performed the delivery, the child's parents may be able to pursue a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harms done to the child. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys can assist parents of newborns who suffered brachial plexus injuries with looking into what effects the injury will likely have on their child and whether negligence occurred in relation to their child's delivery. 

Source: MedlinePlus, "Brachial plexus injury in newborns," Accessed Jan. 7, 2016

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