One of the most common reasons that new parents find themselves calling birth trauma or birth injury lawyers is a brachial plexus injury. Understanding brachial plexus injuries and what can cause them will help you determine if a lawyer is necessary. Here are a few things that every expectant parent should know.
What Causes Brachial Plexus Injuries?
Brachial plexus injuries are normally the result of strain that forces the baby’s head away from the shoulder while pushing the shoulder down away from the neck. Sometimes, these injuries happen as a result of a difficult labor and delivery or a breech birth. Sometimes, it can happen as a result of the delivering doctor’s actions.
If the baby’s head is free but the shoulders catch behind the pelvic bone, the doctor will have very little to hold on to for leverage to encourage the delivery. Sometimes, the doctor will apply a little pressure on the baby’s head to adjust the angle of the shoulders. This can put pressure on the brachial plexus, causing tears.
What Signs Should You Watch For?
A mild injury is difficult to identify, but typically exhibits as weakness or minimal range of motion in the affected arm. More severe cases can actually lead to lost feeling or a complete inability to use the arm. In those cases, the nerves may even be torn from the spinal column.
When Do You Call a Lawyer?
A birth injury lawyer is important if the delivering doctor was negligent and caused the injury. The doctor should talk with you about several risk factors before your delivery. For example, if you have gestational diabetes or a history of large babies, you might have a greater risk of an injury like this. If he or she fails to address these risk factors with you and your baby suffers a brachial plexus injury, you may have grounds for a case.
In addition, there are other interventions that doctors can use in these types of delivery situations. If your doctor doesn’t pursue other means to help with the delivery, you should reach out to an attorney to see if you have a case.
Every birth injury situation is unique, and each case would need evaluation based on its merits. For more information about the potential of your birth injury case, contact us today.