Information About Brachial Plexus

Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb’s Palsy

Brachial Plexus Injury also called Erb’s Palsy results when the nerves connecting the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand are damaged resulting in paralysis or loss of use. Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb’s Palsy may happen during labor and delivery when the obstetrician or midwife places excessive traction on the baby’s head it causes stretching of the baby’s brachial plexus bundle of nerves. These birthing injuries can create lifelong hardship for the children and their families.

Signs a Doctor Should Look For To Indicate That a Baby May Be Too Large For Natural Delivery:

  1. Obesity: If the mother is obese, chances are she may deliver a large baby.
  2. Gestational diabetes: A doctor should always test the fetus for this type of diabetes. Larger babies are often associated with gestational diabetes.
  3. The measurement of fundal height: A physician records the measurements from the top of the uterus to the top of the pubis during prenatal visits. If measurements are too big, the doctor should be able to observe the size of the baby.
  4. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy: If a mother gains a lot of weight during her pregnancy, there is a chance she will deliver a big baby.
  5. Maternal history: If the last baby that a mother delivered was large in size, there is a good probability that her next infancy will be large also.
  6. Prior traumatic delivery using forceps or vacuum.

In these cases a cesarean section should have been discussed and offered to the Mom removing the risk of shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus injury.

To prove a claim for compensation, expert witnesses will be required including an obstetrician plus depositions, video testimony, medical and radiology reports and graphic technologists. Medical and rehabilitation care for the Brachial Plexus injured child may continue throughout the child’s life. We have successfully litigated birth related Brachial Plexus and Erb’s Palsy cases and received the necessary compensation for these children and their families.

If a doctor believes that during pre-natal care the baby may be large, he or she should use an ultrasound to confirm this observation. If the doctor does not use the correct method for delivery, he or she may be liable for malpractice.

Delivery Techniques When Encountering Shoulder Dystocia:

  • cesarean section.
  • Suprapubic pressure.
  • McRoberts maneuver.
  • Wood’s corkscrew maneuver.

Although there are certain maneuvers such as McRoberts and Woods maneuvers that can help to deliver a baby safely in the presence of shoulder dystocia, the obstetrician or midwife must still be careful not to apply excessive traction or pulling on the baby’s head. Simply doing the maneuvers does not guarantee the safe delivery of the baby.

To prove a claim for compensation, expert witnesses will be required including an OB-Gyn doctor, plus the costs of video depositions, medical and radiology reports and graphic technologists. Medical rehabilitation care for the Brachial Plexus injured child may continue throughout the child’s life. We have successfully litigated birth related Brachial Plexus and Erb’s Palsy cases and received the necessary compensation for these children and their families.

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Brachial Plexus Additional Information