New Study Sheds Insight On Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Mother with baby at home. Happy family with newborn indoorsA brachial plexus birth injury, which 75% of the time is considered what’s known commonly as Erb’s palsy, is a condition that effects the nerves near the neck and causes reduced or lack of motion and weakness in the arms, shoulders, hand, and fingers as those are the nerves that help to control them.

One of the biggest issues with this unfortunate birth injury has been the inability for parents to have any sort of warning prior because there are very few risk factors associated with it. A new study published in the Jan. 14 edition of the Journal of Perinatology could be a big step in providing valuable information.

According to, the research team worked out of an unnamed academic institution’s medical facility and studied 78 total cases between October 2003 and March 2013.

One of the shared qualities they found was in the type of birth that was much more prone to this condition. Of the 78 cases, 91% (71 total) occurred during vaginal deliveries. Only seven (9%) took place after a Cesarean section.

When it came to looking at first-time mothers and those who had previously given birth, the results were statistically close enough for researchers to determine it is just as likely for a new mother’s baby to suffer this condition as is is one who already had.

Seven out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer a birth injury, on average. While it’s true cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability found in kids, a brachial plexus injury will occur at a rate between 0.3 and 2%. Overall, approximately 28,000 birth injuries occur every year.

Because many parents ultimately believe the cause of these kinds of conditions is the direct result of improper care or accidents in the handling and delivery of the baby, they are some of the most common reasons for birth injury lawsuits.

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