Neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) is a birth injury that can be categorized as either Klumpke’s palsy or Erb’s palsy. Klumpke’s palsy is caused when there is injury to the lower brachial plexus while Erb’s palsy is caused by injury to the upper brachial plexus. Both types of injuries range from mild to severe, with various symptoms that can be temporary or can go on to cause a lifelong handicap.
The cause of NBPP is still poorly understood and hard to predict. While a palsy can occur after a brachial plexus injury such as shoulder dystocia, 50% of NBPP's occur with no diagnosis of shoulder dystocia. This indicates that there are both external forces (delivery) as well as internal (maternal, uterine) forces that can lead to a palsy (Gherman, 2020).
Gherman’s commentary on the 2019 meta analysis from Van der Looven and colleagues says that while the study adds significantly to the current knowledge of risk factors for NBPP, “At this time, no intervention has been identified that will prevent all or even most cases of neonatal brachial plexus palsy” (Gherman, 2020). Some limitations include not knowing birth weight until after the birth, with birthweight being one of the main risk factors for NBPP. Further studies need to be done to determine interventions during maternal care or delivery that can prevent or lower the risk of an infant developing brachial plexus palsy.
If your baby suffered injuries during delivery, you should speak with an attorney. The legal team at The Holton Law Firm can review your case, help determine if you have a birth injury case, and provide superior representation, if necessary. The legal team at Holton Law Firm is ready to advocate for you and your child.