Four Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries to a Baby: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains the Four Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries that Could be Caused by a Birth Injury


One of the most vulnerable members of our society is also one of our most precious—newborn babies.  Not only are babies completely dependent on their parents, but also on competent medical professionals to safely introduce them to this work.  While most labor and deliveries go without an issue, unfortunately far too many deliveries end up resulting in very serious personal injuries to a baby due to preventable and avoidable birth injuries.  One of the most common types of birth injuries is a brachial plexus injury, which can commonly be due to Oregon medical malpractice.


The brachial plexus is a network of nerves which originates from the cervical vertebrae in the neck and extends through the shoulder and all the way down to the fingers.  During this journey down the arm several smaller branches of nerves break off the main bundle of nerves.  These nerves are responsible for both sensation and motor function, meaning they control both feeling, temperature, heat, pressure, and humidity, as well as movement.


Unfortunately, during the birth process the brachial plexus may be severally injured due to a medical provider’s actions.  The most common mechanism for injury to the brachial plexus is when a doctor pulls on a baby’s arm or shoulder to be facilitate the delivery.  This places undue stress and tension on the little nerves in a baby’s arm, which can cause them to rip, tear, or even become completely separated.


Four Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries


There are four types or classifications of brachial plexus injuries which every family should know.  The type of injury dictates the extent of the patient’s debilitation and future damages.  The four classifications are the following:


  • Neuropraxia – this is generally the most mild type of brachial plexus injury, which is damage to the myelin or fatty covering over the nerves.  The main purpose of the myelin is to insulate the nerves.  When the myelin is damaged, the nerves may have communication problems between them.  This means some signals may not be transferred, or other signals mixed.
  • Neuroma – this is when a baby’s nerves are mildly torn, damaged, ripped, or otherwise impaired to a slight degree.  As a result of this damage, scar tissue develops around the injury to repair the area.  This can end up putting pressure on the nerve causing pain, discomfort, and even problems with communication.
  • Rupture – when a baby’s nerve is torn or damaged, but not completely separated from the cervical spine where the nerve is connected, a nerve is said to be ruptured.  There is a wide array of limitations and affects that a ruptured nerve could cause, including significant pain, partial paralysis, and loss of sensation.
  • Avulsion – this is the most serious type of brachial plexus injury and occurs when the nerve is completely ripped and torn away from the cervical spine when it originates.  This means that the line of communication from the brain and spinal cord to the arm is cut off.  Thus, wherever this nerve is headed down the arm will have no sensation or motor ability.  These injuries always require surgery to fix, but unfortunately some cannot be fixed with the most experienced surgeons.  This is particularly true for newborns who have some nerves the size of hair or sowing thread.  


Does Your Newborn Have a Brachial Plexus Injury?  Call our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer


No matter what type or classification of a brachial plexus injury that your newborn has, you have legal rights to protect for you and your family.  Call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn what those rights are and how our compassionate team can help today.  Our law office is located in Bend, Oregon, and we handle cases throughout Oregon including Portland, Eugene, Salem, Gresham, and throughout Central Oregon, Deschutes County, and more generally in Oregon.  We also have an office in Minnesota.  


To receive a FREE consultation, please call our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer by dialing (541) 385-1999 or use our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a FREE investigation to get you the answers that you deserve regarding your birth injury case.

    For a free case evaluation, fill out the form below

    The use of the internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

    OR Call
    Bend, Oregon: (541) 385-1999
    Portland: (503) 479-3646
    Minnesota: (612) 444-3374

    Our Office

    Kuhlman Law, LLC
    160 NW Irving Ave, Suite 203
    Bend, OR 97703