We note the term “brachial plexus injury” on a medical malpractice page of our victims’ advocacy website at the established Louisville law firm of Morris & Player, PLLC.

The brachial plexus is a neural network that transmits spinal cord signals to a person’s shoulders and hands. If a doctor exerts undue pressure by pulling on a baby’s head or at the wrong angle, or improperly uses a vacuum or forceps, nerves can be damaged. The results can be materially adverse and permanent.

One common brachial plexus injury is shoulder dystocia, marked by damage done when a delivery team acts improperly trying to free a newborn’s shoulders through the birth canal.

The resulting complications can indeed be dire. A March of Dimes online spotlight on shoulder dystocia notes that delivery errors can cause paralysis to an infant’s shoulder, hand or arm. In especially severe cases, oxygen deprivation can bring about brain injury or death.

Mothers, too, can suffer, from tearing of organs and heavy bleeding.

An unusually large baby is a potential indicator of heightened delivery risk and problems. So too is a comparatively large mother, and/or one who is pregnant with twins, has diabetes, is running late with labor (which is induced) or has had a shoulder dystocia-linked delivery in the past.

We duly note on our website that we handle such cases “with discretion and compassion,” seeking to obtain truly meaningful remedies and maximum recoveries for our valued clients and their families.

No one demands perfection in medical professionals. It is reasonable to assume their competence as they act in vitally important matters, though. That includes holding them accountable when they act negligently and are direct catalysts in resulting birth injuries or other medical harm.