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Common Causes of Brachial Palsy

Parents typically spend a great deal of time preparing for the arrival of their little one.  They make sure the nursery is decorated, the diapers are purchased and the car seat is installed properly.  What they don’t prepare for is the possibility that their baby could suffer a birth injury.

Brachial palsy is a birth injury that can affect newborns.  It is defined by as “a loss of movement or weakness of the arm caused by damage to the collection of nerves around the shoulder.  This bundle of nerves is called the brachial plexus.”

There are many different forms of brachial palsy in infants, including brachial plexus, Erb’s palsy and Klumpke paralysis. Brachial plexus affects the upper arm only, while Erb’s palsy affects the upper arm and rotation of the lower arm.  Klumpke paralysis impacts the hand and is often characterized by an eyelid droop on the opposite side of the affected hand.

Some of the common causes of brachial palsy include the following:

  • Difficult delivery
  • Excessive pulling on the shoulders during delivery
  • Breech delivery (feet first)
  • Larger than average newborn
  • Medical mistake
  • Doctor’s failure to respond to complications

An infant with brachial palsy may keep his or her arm flexed at the elbow and held against the body or may have a decreased grip on the affected side.  Children with brachial palsy may show additional signs of this disorder, such as an absent Moro reflex on the affected side or lack of spontaneous movement in the upper or lower arm or hand.

If your child is suffering from brachial palsy or another birth injury and you believe that malpractice may have led to the condition, you should contact an experienced Northern Kentucky birth injury lawyer at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297.   We are located in Fort Wright, Kentucky and handle birth injury cases in Northern Kentucky, including Covington, Boone County, Kenton County and Campbell County. 

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