A recent study published by the Journal of Perinatology has found that health care professionals routinely underestimate the weight of babies to be delivered.
This is crucial because – as the study found – the miscalculation can actually to a false sense of security during delivery and put the baby at risk of experiencing a brachial plexus birth injury.
Knowing the Lingo: What is the Brachial Plexus?
This vast network of nerves is responsible for sending signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and through to the hand.
An injury to the brachial plexus occurs when the nerves are actually stretched or compressed. In the more serious cases, the nerves are actually ripped or torn away from the spinal cord.
What’s Weight Got to Do With It?
While the requirements for standard of care do vary slightly from state to state, doctors and other medical personnel are responsible for providing reasonable and competent care.
When it comes to child delivery, this often includes anticipating the likelihood of a brachial plexus injury and taking preventative action, such as a cesarean section delivery.
If an infant is larger than expected, the shoulders can easily become stuck in the birth canal, causing the nerves to be damaged.
Prior Vaginal Births Do Not Reduce Risk
The study noted above also sought to determine whether or not the risk of an injury to the brachial plexus was higher for first-time or later vaginal deliveries. The researchers found a prior vaginal delivery did not reduce the risks of a brachial plexus injury.
If Your Child Experienced a Birth Injury, Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm
There are host of injuries that can occur during the birthing process, and injuries to the brachial plexus are high on the list.
If you feel that your child has experienced a birth injury, get in touch with us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free consultation. Our number is 800-323-9900.