Brachial plexus birth injury affects arm movement, therapy needed

When women think of childbirth, they usually think of a perfect little baby who comes into the world after a little bit of effort on her part. Sadly, that isn't always the case. Birth injuries sometimes come into play, which shatters that perfect image to pieces. One of these birth injuries is the brachial plexus injury, which affects around one out of every 1,000 babies born. Kentucky residents who are expecting a baby or have recently had a baby might be interested in learning about this type of birth injury.

A brachial plexus injury is sometimes caused by a difficult birth. Some risk factors for the condition include prolonged labor, forceps delivery, breech presentation, maternal diabetes, and large gestational size. In some cases, this type of birth injury doesn't always require surgery, but surgery and therapy are required in other cases.

The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that sends signals to the finger, hand, elbow, wrist, arm and shoulder muscles. It is located at the base of the neck. When the brachial plexus is damaged, the baby might not move his arms after birth. Discovering the injury as early as possible is vital because early treatment produces the best outcome. Physical therapy and proper handling of the baby are necessary to ensure that the baby learns proper movements of the affected limbs.

In severe case of brachial plexus injuries, the child might need surgery if the therapy isn't working to strengthen the arms and improve arm movement. Once the surgery is over, proper postoperative care and therapy are necessary to facilitate proper healing.

Parents who have a baby with a brachial plexus injury might incur significant expenses as a result of the therapy and care necessary for the child. If the brachial plexus injury was caused by suspected medical malpractice or medical negligence, it might be possible for those parents to seek compensation to help offset the cost of treatment.

Source: MD News, "Understanding Brachial Plexus Injuries" Mark Adamczyk, MD, May. 20, 2014

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