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Medical solutions for brachial plexus injuries in the works, part I

There is no day as special and as memorable as the day Albany parents welcome a new child into the world. Seeing a happy, healthy child for the first time is often described as one of the happiest moments of a parent's life, but those moments can also be mixed with tragedy if a doctor, nurse or hospital staff person caused a brachial plexus injury and, thus, Erb's palsy.

This condition is often caused when the delivering physician uses an inappropriate amount of force to help a child out of the birth canal. In some situations, a child's shoulder will become stuck on his or her mother's pelvis, but too much pressure to free the child could cause serious injury to the nerves in the shoulder, making it difficult to use the arm or shoulder later in life. In some of the most severe cases, it can lead to developmental delays, a nonfunctioning arm or physical deformities.

All of those parents in upstate New York whose children are living with this condition, however, may have some hope. A set of researchers are looking to learn more about how a child's shoulder blade moves in an effort to create better, individualized therapy for children with Erb's palsy. The models are still in development, but they could potentially make it easier for doctors to treat this serious condition.

Until this therapy becomes public, however, it is highly likely that the medical treatment that these children will need, potentially for their entire lives, will likely come at a considerable cost. The constant medical appointments, the physical therapy and sometimes even a care assistant will certainly add up, which is why many individuals whose children were injured by medical malpractice file birth injury lawsuits against the doctors responsible.

Source: University of Delaware, "Collaboration aims to develop clinically useful tool to shed light on birth injury," Diane Kukich, Feb. 27, 2013

You can find out more about how our law firm has worked with parents whose children were born with brachial plexus injuries by visiting our website.

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