What Parents Need To Know About Brachial Palsy

You may have been told that your infant suffered from a birth injury known as brachial palsy. As a new parent, you may have never even heard of this condition before and are incredibly concerned about the welfare of your child. Brachial palsy refers to paralysis or weakness of the arm. This injury occurs when the collection of nerves around the shoulder, known as the brachial plexus, are damaged. When the upper brachial plexus is paralyzed, it is referred to as Erb’s palsy, while paralysis to the lower brachial plexus is known as Klumpke’s palsy.

It is important to understand what may have caused your infant’s injury. Brachial palsy often occurs when there is difficultly delivering the baby’s shoulders, which is known as shoulder dystocia. The child can be injured when the head and neck are pulled to one side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal. Some of the causes of a brachial plexus injury include:

  • Breech delivery
  • Prolonged labor
  • Delayed C-section
  • Larger than average baby
  • Misuse of forceps

Some of the symptoms of brachial palsy include the absent of the startle reflex on the affected side, the arm is flexed at the elbow and held against the body, decreased grip and lack of spontaneous movement in the arm or hand.

Most babies recover from brachial plexus injuries within six months. However, in more serious cases, surgery and physical therapy are required. There are also complications associated with brachial palsy, such as permanent paralysis of the arm or arm weakness.

If your baby’s injuries were caused by negligence by the doctor, nurses or hospital, you can hold them accountable and could be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Orlando medical malpractice lawyer at the Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111.