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New York Brachial Plexus Injury

Although childbirth is normally a very happy occasion, our New York Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC states that unfortunate circumstances may arise which causes the happy occasion to transform into lifelong problems. A birth injury, such as shoulder dystocia, nerve damage or a brachial plexus injury, can lead to a dangerous condition for a newborn and the mother.

During the birthing process, situations can develop causing a normal delivery to be a complicated event. In the delivery of a large infant, the shoulders can become obstructed by the small pelvis of the mother. The obstetrician may use overly excessive force to aid in the delivery. In some cases, the infant’s head is pushed over and away from one shoulder. The excessive force and misalignment of the head from the shoulder can stretch or tear the brachial plexus nerve bundle resulting in a brachial plexus injury.

A brachial plexus injury is damage to the nerve bundle that transmits nerve impulses from the spinal cord through the shoulder, arm and hand. Our New York Birth Injury Lawyer staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC has found a minor brachial plexus injury can heal without medical treatment, but significant injury requires surgical treatment to repair the damage. A substantial brachial plexus injury can lead to Erb’s palsy or Kulmpke’s palsy.

The signs and symptoms can greatly vary with a brachial plexus injury and are often determined by the location and severity of the injury. In most cases, the injury affects only one arm. Our New York Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer staff has learned numbness of the arm is a common symptom, along with:

  • Weakness of the arm
  • Burning sensation in the arm
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Loss of mobility and sensation
  • Paralysis
  • Severe pain

There are several factors that can lead to a brachial plexus injury which include:

Shoulder Dystocia: This is the most common type of injury. This injury occurs when the child’s should is caught on the mother’s pubic bone. If this happens, a surgeon must carefully disentangle the child to relieve the pressure on the shoulder. If this maneuver is done incorrectly, the shoulder can become stretched, torn or ruptured.

Breech Birth: In a breech birth (feet first), injury can occur because too much pressure is put on the shoulders while the baby’s arms are overhead in the birth canal.

Excessive Head Pressure: If too much pressure is put on the head during a normal delivery. The improper use of forceps can increase the likelihood of injury.

Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries

The extent of damage will depend on the nature of injury that is sustained:

Neuroma: If the nerves tissues are damaged, scar tissue develops and can press on the healthy nerves. This type of injury will require surgery.

Avulsion: This is the most serious type. This occurs where the nerve is torn from the base of the spinal cord, resulting in the loss of use of the arm. This type of injury may need surgery to heal.

Rupture: This type is a tear in the nerve, and will not heal.

Neurapraxia: This type of injury occurs where the nerves are overstretched but to not tear.

A number of different risk factors may signal the potential of a brachial plexus injury occurring during delivery. Our New York Injury Lawyer staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC has discovered common risk factors include abnormal pelvis shape or size, maternal age, maternal obesity and macrosomia (large baby). The failure to diagnose these risk factors or an Ob/Gyn error may allow you to pursue a medical malpractice claim. If your child is suffering from a brachial plexus injury, our New York Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyer group at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC will protect your legal rights and fight for the monetary compensation you deserve. New York has very specific rules regarding the damages available to party that has been injured because of medical malpractice. These rules are found in NY CPLR 1411 (2012).

If your child is suffering from a brachial plexus injury, contact our experienced New York Birth Injury Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC. Please call us at 800.696.9529 FREE, online or contact one of our offices in New York in New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx or Staten Island, in Long Island in Nassau County or Suffolk County or in Westchester County for a free case evaluation.