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Birth injuries of shoulders and arms may bring lifelong suffering

Many expectant mothers in New York feel some nervousness as childbirth approaches. It is natural to have some concern about the pain, the difficulty and the outcome of labor and delivery, especially if the mother's condition presents risk factors for the baby's birth. Birth injuries can occur at any time during the birth process and are often the result of negligence by the attending physician or other medical staff.

For example, neonatal brachial plexus palsy is a birth injury caused in which nerves are injured during a traumatic delivery. If the child's neck and head are pulled to the side too far or too roughly, the nerves in the shoulder may be damaged. Infants who are larger than average or who are in a breech position are more likely to suffer such injuries although these incidents are less common now with the wider availability of cesarean deliveries.

A similar type of birth injury is pseudoparalysis. This occurs when the infant's arm, collarbone or shoulder is broken during delivery, and the child does not move it due to pain. Serious nerve damage is possible, and some children require surgery to repair the damage. While some birth injuries heal themselves, many children are left with permanent paralysis, limited motion in their arm or painful muscle contractions.

Not every complication can be foreseen, but when a doctor misses obvious warning signs, it often means needless suffering. No loving parents want to see their children struggling with the effects of birth injuries, which often cause lifelong difficulties in school and life. Many parents in New York facing these issues seek the advice of an attorney to investigate the possibility of pursuing compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Source: medlineplus.gov, "Brachial plexus injury in newborns", Accessed on March 18, 2017

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