Horner’s syndrome is a rare condition characterized by miosis (constriction of the pupil), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), and anhidrosis (absence of sweating of the face). It is caused by damage to the sympathetic nerves of the face, and can be the result of a birth injury
Klumpke Paralysis (may also be referred to as Klumpke’s Palsy or Dejerine-Klumpke Palsy) is a type of birth injury caused by an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus which may result from a: difficult or assisted vaginal delivery or fetal lacerations during a c-section birth.
Based on the location of the nerve damage, brachial plexus injuries can affect part of or the entire arm. How the nerve is damaged will also have an effect on movement, treatment, and prognosis.
Brachial plexus injuries are categorized by the type of damage to the nerve. The following chart details the types of brachial plexus injuries that can occur, what each type means, and the prognosis for brachial plexus injuries. It is important to remember that each case is different and individual patients will respond to treatment differently.
Two main risk factors for Obstetric Brachial Plexus injuries (OBPI) are having a large baby (over 8.8 lbs) and shoulder dystocia, but there are many other risk factors. Your doctor should assess your health and your baby’s health and wellbeing throughout your pregnancy and during labor and delivery.
Erb’s palsy, also known as Erb-Duchenne palsy, can occur as a result of damage to the middle and upper roots of the shoulder nerves. This network of shoulder nerves is called the ‘brachial plexus’. These nerves can be damaged by falls, violent forces, and in accidents such as car accidents and sports injuries, but the most common cause of Erb’s palsy is obstetrical brachial plexus injury during labor and delivery.
Brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of trauma sustained in an accident such as a car or motorcycle accident, fall, sports injury, or during the labor and delivery process. The type of injury to the brachial plexusm, and the degree of the injury will effect the out come of individual patients — some may recover on their own or with minimal treatment, while others may require surgery.
This video tells the story of Madison, a baby who was injured at birth and suffered an Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Injury that could have been prevented. Madison’s parents were told by the obstetrician that her injuries would resolve on their own. They did not and this video takes you from her birth to toddlerhood when she undergoes painful corrective surgeries and subsequent physical therapy.
Brachial plexus injuries often occur during the birthing process. Availability of brachial plexus statistics vary widely, but where figures are available the general consensus is that brachial plexus injuries occur in 2-5 out of 1000 births. More children suffer from brachial plexus injuries sustained at birth than Down Syndrome or Muscular Dystrophy – yet information on this disability is not so readily obtained. — Brandie Sierra Character-Martinez, mother of a child who suffers from BPI caused by medical malpractice
Some brachial plexus injuries may heal without treatment. Many children who are injured during birth improve or recover by 3 to 4 months of age. Treatment for brachial plexus injuries includes physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.
Below are links to support networks and organizations to help you find the right treatment approach and clinicians for you and your child, as well as links to support groups online including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to help you connect with others.
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries are caused by damage to those nerves. Symptoms may include a limp or paralyzed arm; lack of muscle control in the arm, hand, or wrist; and a lack of feeling or sensation in the arm or hand. Brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of shoulder trauma, tumors, or inflammation. There is a rare syndrome called Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, or brachial plexitis, which causes inflammation of the brachial plexus without any obvious shoulder injury. This syndrome can begin with severe shoulder or arm pain followed by weakness and numbness. In infants, brachial plexus injuries may happen during birth if the baby’s shoulder is stretched during passage in the birth canal.
Having a child diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury can be a frightening thing for a parent to deal with because it may mean physical challenges, painful surgeries, and years of physical therapy lie ahead. Although living with an obstetric brachial plexus birth injury is not an easy thing to do, you also do not have to go through this on your own.
Our lawyers are here to help you pursue compensation for your child’s birth injury so that the costs of your child’s care now and in the future will be covered. We have also prepared a list of places where you can find information, counseling, general support, and even social network groups online so you can connect with others living with an obstetric brachial plexus injury.