Infant brachial plexus occurs when there is an injury to the main group of nerves that are a part of the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is located near the neck which influences the arm’s nerves that assist in the feeling and movement of the fingers, hands, and arms. When an infant is injured in the brachial plexus area during birth, they can undergo a life of therapy and medications for the pain. When medical negligence is the cause of a brachial plexus injury, the family of the victim can seek compensation for the medical error performed by the medical professional who was responsible for the brachial plexus injury.
Many different parties can be held responsible for brachial plexus injury. If negligence is exercised towards an infant during birth, and they get hurt as a result, the years of experience and knowledge that the birth injury lawyers at Percy Martinez Law Firm located in Miami have is substantial. Their perserverance serves them right.
Medical Malpractice Being the Cause of a Brachial Plexus Injury
When a medical professional fails to adhere to the skill, treatment, and level of care that is required under the standard of care, medical malpractice can occur. When another medical professional of the same area of study would have acted differently under the same circumstance, then the medical professional can be held accountable under a medical malpractice claim. Omissions and acts of negligence can occur during the delivery of a child. This means that when a medical professional fail to act or acts in a poor manner. Many different reasons can contribute to a brachial plexus injury.
Some of the main causes of brachial plexus that can constitute lawsuits include:
Not Preventing Shoulder Lodging:
Brachial plexus does not only occur in vaginal births, it can also occur via cesarean births. The process of childbirth is often time unpredictable and can result in complications. Doctors might have to make a split-second decision during a delivery that is not always the correct one. Their wrong decisions can cause the infant to suffer a brachial plexus injury. Physicians should familiarize themselves with every technique available to prevent a shoulder lodging complication. A physician should be prepared for any situation that arises.
Too much pressure on the infant’s head:
Doctors might try to apply too much force on the infant’s shoulder and head when they become lodged in the mother’s pubic bone, also known as shoulder dystocia. This act can cause tearing, ripping, and nerve damage to the brachial plexus nerve. When doctors are faced with difficult births, they should be knowledgeable of other methods that are safer for the delivery of a child.
Not Properly Using a Vacuum:
There will be times when a vacuum is used to assist with the birthing process of a child. The child may need assistance in passing the birth canal. When there are complications like long labor, misalignment, problems with the infant’s vital signs, among others, the physician will apply the method of a vacuum. When they improperly use the vacuum, it can cause nerve damage in the neck, shoulders, and injure the child’s head that can lead to brain damage. Medical staff and physicians should be trained to properly use vacuums during delivery.
Not Properly Using a Forcep:
Forceps are used for the same reason that vacuums are used, during birth complications. Forceps can be dangerous because they grab hold of the child’s head and can injure their delicate skull. When physicians do not apply delicate care while using a forcep, they can severely injure a baby’s nerves and skull. The use of forceps can be a great way to prevent other birth complications like oxygen loss or hypoxia but when it is used improperly it can cause the baby life-threatening injuries.
Not Preparing for Breech Birth:
A baby in breech position is when either their feet or butts are positioned to be birthed first. Only about 3% of births are breached. A doctor should be able to determine if the baby will be born breeched by the 8-month of gestation. A doctor can order for an ultrasound if they suspect that the baby is breeched. Typically, during each prenatal visit, the doctor will touch on the mother’s abdomen to feel whether the baby is in position or not. If the doctor does not order an ultrasound when they should have noticed that the baby was breached or suspected it to be, and the baby is injured during delivery, the doctor can be held responsible. A breeched baby can endure extreme stress and pressure on their heads, shoulders, and neck. This pressure can lead to extensive damage to their little bodies.
Medical Team’s Failure to Recognize Complications
When a medical staff fails to recognize certain complications, they can cause severe injuries and even death to an infant. The following are indications of upcoming complications:
- Not noticing the large size of the baby
- Not noticing the baby’s position or that they are in fetal distress
- Not noticing the mother’s condition changing during birth
- Not acting upon an entrapped or compressed umbilical cord
- Not ordering C-section when required
Statistics on Infant Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus is one of the most common injuries that occur during birth. Here are some statistics:
- 75% of infants injured in brachial plexus are diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy
- 3 to 2 injuries per 1,000 births
- 91% of injuries occur during vaginal birth
Case Studies Involving Brachial Plexus Injuries
In 2009, a baby girl’s shoulder got logged in the mother’s pubic bone. The injury led to Erb’s Palsy because the doctor had pulled and twisted on the baby’s neck and head. The doctor tried to deny the claim by saying that he used the ‘Woods’ screw maneuver’ during the process, but he did not realize that the baby’s grandmother had recorded the whole birthing event. In the video, it clearly showed how negligent the doctor acted by pulling and twisting on the baby. He did not perform the ‘Woods’ screw maneuver’ that he claimed he did. The baby girl was left with permanent left arm paralysis. The family was awarded $1.4 million.
Not Performing C-Section
An emergency vaginal delivery led to a brachial plexus injury because the physician failed to perform a caesarean delivery. The physician did not take the proper steps to deliver the child and was held responsible for the baby’s injuries. The family of the baby was awarded $3.7 million.
Improper Use of Vacuum
In 1999, the improper use of a vacuum left a baby girl with a severe brachial plexus injury. The physician used the vacuum and extracted the head of the baby but the shoulder’s got logged in the mother’s pubic bone. The physician pulled on the baby’s head instead of maneuvering it delicately. The family of the baby was awarded $6 million.
How To Tell Whether A Child Was Injured Due to Medical Malpractice?
The Miami Infant Brachial Plexus lawyers in Miami can help the family members of the victim determine whether the injury was caused by a medical professional’s negligence. These are the following factors that can help determine whether the injury was caused by a medical malpractice:
- Nurse reports
- Notes from the Gynecologist
- Methods used during delivery
- Medical Records
- And more
What Can Be Recovered Through a Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit?
Brachial Plexus injuries can be devastating and can lead to permanent disability. The family of a brachial plexus victim can be awarded for intangible losses, present, and future ones. These damages may include:
- Clinician monthly follow-ups
- Surgery, reconstruction, graft, or reconnection of the muscles and nerves
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of future earnings
- Medications for pain and depression
- Medical equipment to assist the child in their daily life
- Emotional and physical therapy
Brachial Plexus injuries are the most common birth injuries that occur in a child. These injuries can cause emotional, financial, and physical strain on the family of the victim. The family can recover these damages for the negligence that led to their child’s injury.
Hiring a Miami Brachial Plexus Lawyer
A brachial plexus injury can be prevented when doctors and medical staff take preventative measures during pregnancy, labor, and birth. When physicians act how they are supposed to during the birthing process, many injuries can be avoided. Once negligence acts or omissions are performed, a child can be injured in the process. The Brachial Plexus Miami Lawyers of Percy Martinez Law Firm had unfortunately dealt with many brachial plexus injury cases. They fight vigorously for the rights of the child that cannot speak for themselves.
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