Many births occur without any issues; however, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. One issue that can be hard to handle is a nerve injury. These usually occur to the baby’s face or their brachial plexus. In both cases, the impacted areas of the body are likely going to be unable to move. This can be traumatic for the parents when they realize there is a problem. The baby may also suffer from pain or discomfort.
Many nerve injuries during birth can be avoided if the woman and her baby are properly monitored and assisted throughout labor and delivery. Often, forceps are the cause of the issue, so they should only be used when necessary.
Facial nerve injuries can lead to one side of the face not moving like the other. This makes the face appear abnormal. In most cases, the problem will resolve in two to three months without any treatment.
A brachial plexus injury is a stretching of the nerve in the shoulder. It’s often caused by a breech delivery or shoulder dystocia, which impacts the arm. The location of the stretched nerve determines what part of the arm or hand is affected. Of the brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy, which impacts the C5 to C7 area, is the most common type.
Other nerve injuries are also possible. These injuries are rare, but they can impact many areas of the body. In some cases, these injuries are due to factors other than the labor and delivery. Traumatic events like injections near the nerve might cause issues.
Parents of babies who suffer one of these injuries might consider filing a medical malpractice claim if the injury is due to negligence. This can help them to shift the cost to the liable parties.