Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth
No matter how much prospective parents prepare for the birth of their child, it is nearly impossible to anticipate potential complications and their consequences. Unfortunately, birth injuries happen more frequently than most people realize. Birth injuries can have long-lasting, or even lifelong, consequences for the entire family.
Many parents are unsure whether a birth injury was the result of medical malpractice, and whether they have the right to take legal action. The knowledgeable birth injury attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane can help victims of a brachial plexus birth injury in the Salt Lake City, UT, area explore their right to financial compensation, so that the family can focus on healing.
What Is a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
Brachial plexus refers to the system of nerves that exists between the neck and the shoulders. The nerves of the brachial plexus control muscle functions and sensations within the chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. During birth, a baby’s brachial plexus can be damaged.
There are several different types of damage that can occur with a brachial plexus injury. The injury may affect the upper brachial plexus (affecting the shoulders and elbows), the lower brachial plexus (affecting the forearms and hands), or both.
The severity of a brachial plexus injury also varies in each situation. The nerves of the brachial plexus may be compressed, stretched, torn, or completely detached from the spinal cord. The formation of scar tissue can also lead to complications.
Depending on the type of brachial plexus injury that a baby suffers and the degree of damages, injury symptoms may include:
- Pain or a burning sensation within the arms, shoulders, or hands
- Weakness in the affected area
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, shoulders, or hands
- Paralysis within the arms, hands, or shoulders
Causes of Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
A brachial plexus injury is most common during births that involve prolonged labor or other complications, such as high birth weight, breech, or maternal diabetes. Forms of medical malpractice that can result in a brachial plexus injury during these types of births include:
- Forcefully pulling on a baby’s neck or shoulders during birth
- Excessive force from forceps or a vacuum extraction
- Misuse of forceps or vacuum
Compensation for Injury Damages
If a brachial plexus birth injury is the result of medical malpractice, the child’s family has a right to seek financial compensation for any related losses. The team of birth injury attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane consider all the consequences of a brachial plexus birth injury and will fight to get our Salt Lake City clients the maximum compensation they are due under the law. Compensation may cover damages such as:
- Medical expenses (including any hospitalizations, doctor’s appointments, or medication)
- The cost of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Schedule a Consultation
If your family has suffered the emotional, physical, and financial trauma of a birth injury, and you suspect that it may be the result of medical malpractice, you should consider your legal right to compensation. To schedule a personal consultation with one of the birth injury attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, call our Salt Lake City practice at (801) 335-7025.