Characteristics of a brachial plexus injury in a newborn

Pittsburgh parents expecting the birth of a baby are filled with anticipation and excitement. The birth of a baby is one of the biggest joys parents have in their life. Most births go as planned but birth injuries do occur. When the injury is caused by negligence, parents can be devastated.

One birth injury a baby can suffer from is a brachial plexus injury. So, how do parents know if their newborn has had this type of injury? A brachial plexus injury is one of the most common birth injuries a newborn can suffer from. A brachial plexus injury generally involves injury to the nerves in a newborn’s arm. The injury usually occurs during a difficult birth and the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during delivery. Most brachial plexus injuries are classified as Erb’s Palsy.

Characteristics of a brachial plexus injury include weakness of the hand or arm, limited movement in affected arm or hand, no Moro reflex in the affected side or the arm is bent on the affected side. If parents believe their newborn has suffered a brachial plexus injury because of a negligent doctor, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records and consult with medical experts in order to get answers as to what happened. If doctors are found to be negligent in their care they may be able to be held responsible. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

A brachial plexus injury in a newborn can have lifelong complications. It is important for parents to hold these negligent caregivers responsible so that they don’t harm anyone else.

Source:, “Brachial plexus clinic,” accessed on Jan. 25, 2016