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Families Work to Raise Awareness of Brachial Plexus and Erb’s Palsy

Expectant mothers often can ensure that they receive the best care possible when they educate themselves on the potential risks facing their unborn child and the ways that those risks can be minimized. Fortunately, most mothers will receive top-notch care from educated professionals who are a testament to the medical community. However, there will always be some cases where the conduct of the professionals involved in a delivery is not up to par. Both the mother and her child may suffer serious consequences as a result. Our Chicago birth injury lawyer works with families in those situations.

In most cases it is only after a child is born with some particular defect or injury that the family first investigates the cause of the injury. At times, it becomes clear that the injury could in fact have been prevented. At other times, the family never learns about the potential prevention at all, and those negligent professionals are never held accountable for their misconduct. Getting parents to think about these issues before they strike-or at least be aware of them-is an important goal of many birth injury advocacy groups.

For example, that is part of the reason why last month advocates celebrated Brachial Plexus Awareness Week. As we have explained, brachial plexus is an often debilitating injury that is usually caused by a traumatic birth. In rare cases the injury can also be caused by certain trauma during a car or sports accident. When it occurs during birth, it is usually when the child is large and gets stuck in the mother’s birth canal. In the Holland Sentinel, one mother explains how she endured a very painful and damaging birth when delivering her nine pound six ounce son. Late into the night, near the end of the birth, she notes that her son was roughly pushed by a nurse and pulled by a doctor before finally emerging. Unfortunately, the doctor later came to inform the woman that her son suffered what is often referred to as Erb’s Palsy-severe nerve damage in the arm. As a result the arm hung lifeless at his side. It even had to be pinned to his shirt the first few months of his life so that the infant did not unknowingly cause even more damage. The mother reports that her son has been in therapy since he was a week old.

The mother explains that she became angry once she learned that brachial plexus injuries are often preventable. Certain routine procedures can be performed which may ultimately avoid an injury from arising to begin with. For example, a cesarean section may prevent the potential risk of a rough birth causing permanent physical damage. The mother explained that she did not hear about brachial plexus even once before her son was born. She urges others not to make the same mistake. Learning about the injuries that could strike during birth and the simple ways that they could be prevented are important to helping parents make certain decisions which may spare a child the lifelong consequences of these injuries. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at our firm urge families who believe medical mistakes may have played a role in their child’s injury to visit with a legal professional to learn more.

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