Causes of Brachial Plexus Birth Injury and How to Deal With It?
Childbirth is a divine time for parents. Every parent hopes to have a healthy baby, however, birth complications can occur during the delivery and injuries can happen to the little soul. Out of many birth complications, is Brachial Plexus, which is becoming a problem for doctors and parents, especially in normal delivery cases.
A brachial plexus birth injury is a type of injury that occurs to the brachial plexus, a group of nerves that runs from the spinal cord through the neck, shoulder, and down the arm. The brachial plexus is responsible for controlling the muscles in the shoulder, arm, and hand, as well as providing sensation to these areas.
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Causes of Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
During childbirth, a brachial plexus injury can occur if the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck in the birth canal, a condition known as shoulder dystocia. If the baby is pulled or twisted forcefully in an effort to free the shoulder, the brachial plexus nerves can be damaged.
Symptoms of a brachial plexus birth injury may include weakness or paralysis in the arm, hand, or fingers; a lack of feeling or sensation in the affected area; and difficulty moving the arm or hand. Treatment for a brachial plexus birth injury may include physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of a brachial plexus birth injury occurring.
- Large Baby
A baby that is larger than average is more likely to experience shoulder dystocia, which can lead to a brachial plexus injury. Babies who are born weighing more than 8 pounds 13 ounces are more likely to experience brachial plexus injury.
- Prolonged Labor
If labor is prolonged, the baby may be more likely to experience shoulder dystocia.
- Abnormal Fetal Position
If the baby is in an abnormal position during labor, such as breech or transverse, it may be more difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal and increase the risk of the brachial plexus.
- Previous Brachial Plexus Injury
If a woman has previously had a brachial plexus injury, there is an increased risk of the injury occurring again during childbirth.
- Maternal Diabetes
Women with diabetes are at an increased risk of having a baby with a large birth weight, which can increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury.
- Maternal Obesity
Obese women are more likely to have larger babies, which can increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury.
- Doctor’s Negligence
In many cases, a doctor’s negligence can also be a cause of the brachial plexus. Many times in order to push the baby out, doctors apply a force that results in shoulder dystocia.
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How to Deal with Brachial Plexus?
If a brachial plexus injury is suspected during childbirth, the baby should be evaluated as soon as possible by a medical professional. Physical therapy, medication, surgery, and splinting are common ways to deal with the condition. If the situation is because of the doctor’s negligence then parents can seek help from a brachial plexus birth injury attorney.
It is important to follow the treatment plan recommended by the healthcare provider in order to maximize the chances of recovery.