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Brachial Plexus Injury Risk Factors Identified

A recently published study reveals that while in some situations, parents have no warning that their child may be born with certain birth injuries - such as a brachial plexus injury - other times certain characteristics point to an increased likelihood of complications.

One of the factors considered was the impact of a previous natural delivery vs. a Cesarean section on the likelihood that an injury may occur. The study concluded that brachial plexus injuries are significantly more likely to occur during vaginal deliveries. However, despite previous findings that suggest otherwise, the incidence of brachial plexus injuries was roughly the same whether this is the mother's first delivery or not.

Brachial plexus injuries are one of the leading types of birth trauma, and are often the result of shoulder dystocia – where the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. Some of the factors that increase the likelihood of such an injury include prolonged labor, high infant birth weight, multiple pregnancies and premature deliveries.

A brachial plexus injury involves harm to the network of nerves that controls the arm and shoulder. Three major types of brachial plexus injuries exist.

  • Upper arm brachial plexus
  • Erb's palsy
  • Klumpke paralysis (affecting the hand)

While some children recover from these injuries, others do not and suffer life long, permanent and sometimes life threatening effects. Permanent injuries may include muscle spasms or partial/total loss of function for the rest of a child's life.

For more information, or if you believe your baby's brachial plexus injury was caused by your doctor's negligence, please contact the experienced California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson today to learn your legal rights and options.

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