Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a collection of nerves that exit the spinal cord in the neck and supply the nerve impulses to the arms. Suppose the head is bent to an extreme degree during childbirth; these nerves can be damaged, resulting in partial or complete paralysis of the arm. This type of paralysis is known as Erb’s palsy. This usually happens when the baby is too large to fit through the birth canal. Typically a baby’s head is larger than the body; when the head is delivered, the body usually follows quickly. On the other hand, if the baby is large, usually over 8 pounds, it might have difficulty moving through the birth canal. When a baby is too large to fit through the pelvis, it is known as cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD).
Suppose the baby is too large to fit through the birth canal easily. In that case, the delivery will be difficult, which is known as dystocia. Because the baby’s shoulder becomes trapped behind the pelvic bone after the head is delivered, this condition is referred to as shoulder dystocia. When this occurs, the physician must use specific maneuvers to attempt to deliver the impacted shoulder. In severe cases, the nerves can be removed from their attachment to the spinal cord; this is known as an avulsion. In such cases, the effect will usually cause total paralysis of the arm and hand. The baby could have a limp arm at birth.
Diagnosing cephalo-pelvic disproportion in a patient before the delivery occurs can be challenging. Once diagnosed, C-section should be used to deliver the baby to avoid the likely trauma at birth. The chance of a larger than average baby is often associated with gestational diabetes. When gestational diabetes is diagnosed throughout the pregnancy, the physician and the patient should strongly consider delivery by C-section to avoid any injury.
If your baby suffers from an injury, it could be the result of medical malpractice or negligence. Contact an attorney today to have your case evaluated. CALL US ANYTIME (877)776-9558 or fill out a consultation form here to start the process.