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Brachial Plexus and Shoulder Dystocia

We regularly help people make medical negligence claims, if they have suffered unexpected problems following medical or dental treatment, advice or surgical procedures.

Brachial Plexus and Shoulder Dystocia Compensation Claims Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee 

If your baby has suffered a brachial plexus/shoulder dystocia injury, which you believe was caused by medical negligence, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.  

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves which controls and provides feeling to the muscles in a child’s shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. The nerves that grow to the shoulder and elbow are most commonly affected in a brachial plexus injury.  

Brachial plexus injuries usually occur when there is excessive stretching and force during labour and delivery. The baby's shoulder may be stretched away from their neck and injure the nerves that run from the neck down into the arm. This can cause serious and occasionally lifelong injury. If you think your child has suffered as a result of negligent actions get in touch with our expert medical negligence team today by calling 0800 988 8082. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you right away.  

There are times when brachial plexus injuries are an unfortunate consequence of a difficult labour, however, occasionally they can arise due to negligence by the medical team delivering the baby.  

If you think your child has suffered as a result of negligent actions get in touch with our expert medical negligence team who can provide support and legal advice.  

How does obstetric brachial plexus injury occur during birth? 

Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury (OBPI) usually occurs in newborns during a difficult delivery as a result of a large baby, a breech presentation or prolonged labour. They are rare but affect approximately one in every 1,800 babies born in the UK.  

Recovery times vary, some babies improve within days to weeks while others recover much more slowly, and these children may require surgical treatment. 

Erb–Duchenne palsy and shoulder dystocia 

Erb–Duchenne palsy (Erb’s palsy) is a form of OBPI which can cause paralysis of the arm from injury to the brachial plexus. It’s most commonly caused by shoulder dystocia during birth - when an infant’s head and neck are pulled toward one side at the same time as the shoulders pass through the birth canal.  

The condition can also be caused by excessive pulling on the shoulders during a cephalic presentation (head first delivery), or by pressure on the raised arms during a breech (feet first) delivery.  

Some babies fully recover from shoulder dystocia within weeks and others recovery reasonably well over a number of months (about 80% - 90% of children regain all movement within the first year). In a few cases recovery is slow and incomplete. In children who don't get all their movements back, it's often shoulder movements that don't recover, but loss of use of the hand is rare. 

Some children will develop growth problems in the affected shoulder and require operations, or muscle transfers to normalise growth. Their arms, collarbones, and shoulder blades may end up somewhat smaller than normal, but it is very rare to need surgery for this. 

Children with obstetric brachial plexus injuries usually do very well in life, regardless of the severity of the injury.  

Contact our specialist brachial plexus and shoulder dystocia injury lawyers today 

To speak to someone who can help you claim the compensation you deserve, call us now on 0800 988 8082 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you right away. 

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