What new parents should know about a brachial plexus injury
Any birth injury is scary, particularly if you are a new parent and you do not know how to help your child recover. At Elk & Elk Co., Ltd., we are aware of the legal and physical ramifications of a birth injury, and when parents may be able to seek compensation for the medical expenses that are sure to follow.
The United Brachial Plexus Network explains that as your baby came through the birth canal, he or she could have had the nerves in the neck stretched, torn or pulled away from the spine. Because these nerves directly impact the muscles that begin at the shoulder and continue down through the fingers, your baby may have a weak or paralyzed arm. Approximately two to five babies out of 1,000 suffer this type of birth injury, and it is more common than Down Syndrome.
The nerves can regenerate, but it is a very slow process, and sometimes surgery is needed. Usually, it takes about a month for an inch of regeneration to occur. If your baby is not able to use the bicep muscle by the age of three months, you and your child’s doctor may need to discuss surgical repair. This could involve grafting the nerves, removing scar tissue and reconnection of the nerve endings.
After about 12 months, it may be too late for a correctional procedure, as the muscles that have not reconnected to nerves will have degenerated beyond repair. To learn more about options for parents whose child suffered a birth injury is available on our webpage.