Birth injuries: Brachial plexus injuries are preventable in Chicago

Intense, long-term medical treatment can be exhausting for birth injury victims and their families in Illinois, and this type of treatment can also be very costly. When Chicago families believe that they have been harmed by a birthing error caused by a negligent nurse, doctor or hospital, families may be entitled to recover compensation for doctors’ mistakes.

One type of injury that may affect babies for several years while they are growing up or for their entire lives is a brachial plexus injury. In an effort to raise awareness of what a brachial plexus injury is and how this injury may occur during birth, one family has decided to start selling survival bracelets. Part of the proceeds from selling the bracelets will go toward an organization that provides support for brachial plexus patients. The remaining proceeds will be used to help the family’s son who is trying to recover from this type of birth injury

A brachial plexus injury may result in brachial plexus palsy, Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy. This type of injury may be entirely preventable; however, babies may suffer a brachial plexus injury due to doctor negligence.

This type of injury may occur when a doctor damages a baby’s nerves while trying to pull on a baby’s head while his or her shoulders are stuck in the birth canal. Sometimes babies get stuck because of their size or because of the way babies are positioned in the birth canal. When babies are stuck, though, there are a variety of actions doctors can take to deliver babies without causing them to suffer a brachial plexus injury.

The family who is selling survival bracelets to raise awareness of brachial plexus birth injuries learned about this injury when their son was born several years ago. During labor, the child was stuck in his mother’s birth canal for about three hours. The baby weighed over 10 pounds and should have been delivered via caesarean section; however, doctors had the child’s mother go through with a vaginal birth. When the child was born, he was not breathing and his skin was grey. The child survived, but he suffered severe injuries because nerves had been torn from his spine.

The boy has undergone several operations and medical treatments since he was eight months old. When babies suffer this type of injury, they may recover depending on how severe their injuries are. Some victims never fully recover from this type of injury, even after going though several years of surgeries, therapy and other treatments.

Source: Boonville Daily News, “Fundraiser to bring awareness to Brachial Plexus,” Edward Land, Mar. 1, 2013

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Birth injuries: Brachial plexus injuries are preventable in Chicago