The Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog

How Some Tragic Birth Injuries Occur

Posted by Lindsey Gray on August 15, 2014

There is nothing sadder for new parents than their child's birth injury.  The joy that preceded the birth, with all the anticipation and excitement of giving birth to new life, is cut short by the realization that that child has been injured during the birthing process.

In certain instances, these birth injuries are caused by medical mistakes during the birthing process.  Conditions such as brachial plexus, Erbs Palsy, and Klumpke's palsy.  These injuries may be caused by improper delivery when the medical staff attempts to extract the newborn from the birth canal. 

The nerves of the brachial plexus can be injured during a difficult delivery from:

  • The infant's head and neck pulling toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal
  • Pulling on the infant's shoulders during a head-first delivery
  • Pressure on the baby's raised arms during a breech (feet-first) delivery

There are different forms of brachial plexus injury in an infant. The type depends on the amount of arm paralysis:

  • Brachial plexus injuries usually affect only the upper arm.
  • Erb's paralysis affects the upper and lower arm.
  • Klumpke paralysis affects the hand. The infant may also have an eyelid droop on the opposite side.

In some cases, a caesarean section should have been chosen rather than a vaginal delivery.  Since birth injuries are complex, it is important to consult another healthcare professional in order to determine if the birth injury resulted from medical malpractice.

Peter Heed

Contact Lindsey Gray:
lgray@arbd.com

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