Birth Injuries Can Cause Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Paralysis in Newborn
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves located in an infant’s body’s upper shoulder and neck area. The nerves can be damaged when the site is pulled or pinched during labor and delivery. Brachial plexus injury (BPBI) remains the leading cause of infants’ upper extremity paralysis that can significantly impact arm and hand mobility and leave up to 30% of those affected with residual neurologic deficits.
When the damage happens, it may be relatively minor, and some children will be lucky enough to make a full recovery eventually. But at other times, for example, in a case of a forced breech delivery or improper use of an instrumented delivery, the damage may be so extensive that a permanent disability is the only outcome. The child could have restricted movement of the shoulder, arm, and hand and possible nerve injuries that affect facial muscles. These problems are associated with the side of the body where the immediate damage happened.