Maryland Birthing Malpractice: Brachial Plexus Injuries During Delivery Can Cause Permanent Damage

Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers represent families whose babies were injured before, during, or right after delivery. We know how devastating it can be to have an occasion as joyful as the birth of a child to be marred because an obstetrician, gynecologist, anesthesiologist, or another medical professional was negligent.

One of the more common injuries that can occur during delivery as a result of Maryland medical malpractice is the brachial plexus injury, which is also known as Erb’s Palsy. This type of injury can happen if traumatic stretching of the infant’s brachial plexus (this area runs from the spine to the muscles in the arms and shoulders and can also impact the arms and hands) occurs when trying to get him/her out. For example, if labor has gone too long or the baby is in breech or if his/her shoulder is stuck under the mother’s pubic bone or in the birth canal, his/her head may have to be pushed away from the shoulder while the arm is forced upward or the shoulder is pushed downward to get the baby out. If too much force is exerted, stretching or tearing of the baby’s nerve can occur and permanent and serious injuries (including partial or total paralysis) can result.

Just recently, a jury awarded a family $1.3 million against the doctor who delivered their child in 2006. In their birthing malpractice lawsuit, the couple claimed that their doctor could have performed a C-section or applied techniques other than excessive traction to free their daughter’s shoulder during birth. Because of her brachial plexus injury, she still isn’t fully able to use her left arm.

Brachial plexus injuries can be avoided. Common reasons why they occur:
• Failure to properly estimate the baby’s weight and size
• Applying too much traction to the baby’s neck during labor
• Failure to properly monitor for fetal distress
• Failure to properly gauge whether/not baby’s shoulder can easily move through the birth canal
Jury awards $1.3 million in childbirth lawsuit against doctor, WCF Courier, July 20, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Brachial plexus injury, MayoClinic
What are Brachial Plexus Injuries?, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Birthing Malpractice Leaves Devastating Consequences for Parents and Child, Maryland Accident Law Blog, May 30, 2011
Can Maryland Birthing Malpractice Cause Autism?, Maryland Accident Law Blog, July 16, 2011
Maryland Birthing Malpractice: Expansion of Consent Doctrine Restores $13 Million Cerebral Palsy Verdict, Maryland Accident Law Blog, July 31, 2009

Contact our Maryland brachial plexus injury lawyers today.

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