Miami Brachial Plexus Attorneys
Protecting the Victims of Medical Malpractice
The brachial plexus is a network of nerve fibers that run from a person’s spine up to their shoulder and down through their arm. It assists in lifting a person’s arm, hand, and shoulder—allowing the various parts to work together to pick up and hold items. As the nerve fibers travel across a variety of body parts, brachial plexus injuries have a broad spectrum of possible afflicted areas. In addition to the wide array of potentially affected areas, brachial plexus injuries also have a vast range of severity. This means various brachial plexus injuries will have completely different symptoms.
Some of the most well-known brachial plexus injuries include:
While neurapraxia is the most common brachial plexus injury, it is also the least severe. Neurapraxia means the infant experienced minor tears and strains in a portion of their brachial plexus’ protective lining. While the nerve remains completely intact, neurapraxia can cause pain and difficulty for a few months. Symptoms include muscle fatigue, burning, numbness, and heightened sensitivity. These symptoms may persist, but it usually will fix itself after some time.
- Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is a brachial plexus injury where the nerves in the upper arm are damaged. This damage is commonly referred to as a “rupture” of the nerve. Symptoms of Erb’s palsy include full or partial paralysis, loss of regular motor functions, and lowered grip strength in the wounded arm. As the rupture of nerves is a more severe injury, Erb’s palsy requires a newborn be treated by one of the following methods: medication, surgery, physical therapy, and rubbing of the injured arm.
- Klumpke’s Palsy
Klumpke’s palsy is brachial plexus injury where the nerves of the lower part of brachial plexus rupture. When this happens, infants may show symptoms in any of the following ways: numbness, miosis, and a claw-like appearance of the hand of the affected arm. It is possible Klumpke’s palsy will clear up on its own; however, medication and surgery may be required in severe cases.
Neuroma is a condition where excessive scar tissue surrounds a portion of the brachial plexus. The scar tissue acts as a barrier between the affected nerve and muscles of the body. Neuroma can cause the brachial plexus to be unable to accomplish its goal of controlling a person’s arm. This has been proven treatable using neurolysis, a cure that utilizes hot and cold packs to clear up scar tissue. In severe cases, neurolysis may be ineffective, in which case surgery is the only option.
Cause of Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
While brachial plexus birth injuries are not entirely avoidable, many of these injuries are caused by the practicing doctor’s delivery of the baby. The single leading cause of brachial plexus birth injuries is when a doctor tries to force a baby out of its mother in an unnatural or unhealthy manner. Doctors may misuse forceps and vacuum extraction tools, which can cause a brachial plexus injury in an infant. Even when delivering a baby by hand, a doctor may end up applying incorrect pressure on a mother’s body, forcing a baby into an injury-prone placement.
Other causes of brachial plexus birth injury include:
- Large infant size
- Breech delivery
- Maternal obesity
- Maternal diabetes
While these seem outside of a doctor’s control, they may not have adequately assessed a mother before she was supposed to give birth, which led to an injury. In the above situations, a doctor should take these factors into account in deciding if a mother should have a C-section. Doctors who are not proactive in making a healthy decision for a mother should be held accountable.
Has Your Infant Suffered a Brachial Plexus Injury?
Our Miami law firm can help. With more than a century of combined legal experience, Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain can assist you in recovering the financial compensation you deserve. Your infant should never be unnecessarily injured during the birthing process—and it is within your rights to hold your birthing doctor accountable for medical malpractice that resulted in your child suffering from a brachial plexus injury. The birthing process is an excruciatingly painful endeavor; however, once the baby has been delivered, there should be nothing but joy for the parents and the child. Medical malpractice ending in birth injury can ruin a joyous event, leaving parents understandably frustrated. If you want to hold your doctor accountable, contact our birth injury attorneys immediately. We can fight to get you the justice that you deserve.
For a free consultation concerning your case, call (305) 770-6335.