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Brachial Plexus Erb's Palsy Birth Injury Attorney

Jeff Martin July 31, 2023

Do you suspect that your child has had an injury to the brachial plexus due to a birth injury? If your baby shows difficulty in moving one or both arms or hands, or doesn't have control of their arm movements, they may have experienced a birth injury to the brachial plexus.

This injury can cause several complications, including Erb's palsy and Horner's syndrome. This condition can be caused by medical negligence during the baby's birth. If you suspect that your baby sustained an injury to the brachial plexus due to an act of malpractice, or negligence, our birth injury attorneys are here to give you the representation you and your child deserve.

What Is The Brachial Plexus?

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves between the neck and shoulders. This network controls movement and muscle function in the chest, shoulder, arms, and hands and also includes feeling in the upper limbs. If the nerve network is damaged, the nerves may be unable to send messages and communicate between the nerve system and the brain.

Control of movement can be impaired, or stopped completely. Damage to the brachial plexus can impair feeling and movement of any or all of these parts of the body. The areas affected depend on the severity of the brachial plexus injury and what part of the nerve system was damaged. 

How Can A Birth Injury Cause Damage to the Brachial Plexus? 

The brachial plexus can be damaged during labor due to a stretching or tearing in the neck or shoulder area. Areas can include direct nerve connection to the spinal cord, or nerve injuries further away from the spinal cord in the neck or shoulder areas. The injury can be caused by negligent actions by nurses or doctors during birth.

If the baby's neck is improperly stretched during birth, the brachial plexus nerve network can be slightly, or completely, torn or stretched in the neck or shoulder area. This tearing or stretching of the nerve area causes damage that can result in a temporary or lifelong injury to the child. 

Brachial plexus injuries during birth might not be spotted until later when a baby shows lack of muscle weakness in their hands, lower or upper arms, shoulder, or chest area. According to Boston Children's Hospital, brachial plexus injuries occur in 1 to 3 out of 1,000 live births. 

What Conditions Are Caused By Brachial Plexus Birth Injury? 

Damage to the brachial plexus can cause multiple different health conditions including: 

  • Erb's palsy

  • Total plexus involvement

  • Horner's syndrome

According to Boston Children's Hospital, Erb's palsy refers to brachial plexus injuries to the upper arms and biceps. Total plexus involvement refers to a total injury to the brachial plexus network, and a baby may not be able to move the upper arm, lower arm, or hand at all. Horner's syndrome includes babies who have had a more severe brachial plexus injury, and they may show drooping eyelids and less sweat production in parts of the face.

When To Call An Attorney for Birth Injury

Brachial plexus injuries may be caused by medical malpractice from a doctor, nurse, or hospital. If you suspect that your child suffered a brachial plexus birth injury, call Jeff Martin Law immediately.

Our team of top Oklahoma birth injury lawyers will fight for the compensation you and your child deserve. Compensation can help pay for medical bills, physical therapy, and continued expenses and therapies for your child. We represent families in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and across the state of Oklahoma with compassion and top care. Contact us now for a free consultation.