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What Are the Symptoms of a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury? New Orleans Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

May 17th, 2016

What Are the Symptoms of a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury? New Orleans Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

Most people have no idea what the brachial plexus is until they or someone they love sustains an injury. The brachial plexus is a crucial cluster of nerves that send signals from the spine to the hands, arms and shoulders. Damage can cause partial or complete paralysis of the upper limbs.




Newborns are prone to brachial plexus injuries during forceful deliveries. Sometimes these injuries happen because doctors and nurses misuse forceps or vacuum extractors.

If your infant sustained a brachial plexus injury due to a medical worker’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. A New Orleans birth injury attorney from the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm can evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit to learn more about physician negligence in Louisiana.

Here is a brief overview of infant brachial plexus injuries:

What Symptoms Indicate a Brachial Plexus Injury?

An injury to the brachial plexus may not be immediately apparent. In most cases, they are, but it can take several hours to a few days to notice a BPI in newborns. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, new mothers should be alert for these signs:

Noticeable pain;

Partial or complete paralysis of the arm, shoulder and hand;

Touch insensitivity in the arms;

And weakness in the arms.

Are Brachial Plexus Injuries Treatable?

Every case is unique, and some BPIs are worse than others. Medical intervention is not always necessary, but sometimes these injuries require surgical or non-surgical treatments.

The severity and type of damage will determine the best treatment. Here are the classifications of brachial plexus injuries:

Rupture: The nerve tears but not on the spine

Avulsion: The nerve tears and disconnects from the spine

Neuroma: A tumor divides the nerve endings

Neuropraxia: Nerves stretch or compress but remain attached to the spine

Neurotemesis: The nerve itself divides

Axonometesis: The nerve endings completely sever

The majority of newborns heal fully within six months. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, gentle massages and physical therapy can be beneficial for babies with mild brachial plexus injuries. You can do some simple exercises at home that may help improve your baby’s range of motion.

Do I Have Grounds for a Lawsuit?

Medical malpractice is not responsible for all birth injuries and defects. In most cases, doctors, nurses and other delivery specialists provide the best care possible. However, negligence does happen, and it can lead to a brachial plexus injury.

Making a successful medical malpractice claim is a legally complex process. Your birth injury attorney may rely on expert testimonies, medical reports, and an independent medical evaluation to support your claim.

If you or your infant sustained injuries during delivery, contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer who can investigate your case, compile evidence and structure your claim.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm is an AV-rated law Firm under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.

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