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What is a Brachial Plexus Birth Injury?

Newborns can sustain brachial plexus injuries as a result of negligence during the labor and delivery process. A brachial plexus injury is caused by damage to the network of nerves near the neck that give rise to all the nerves of the arm. If an infant’s shoulders get wedged or stuck within the birth canal, there is an increased risk of brachial plexus palsy.

Most often, the upper nerves are injured, a condition called Erb’s palsy. Total brachial plexus birth palsy occurs when both the upper and lower nerves are damaged. The most serious brachial plexus injury, avulsion, occurs when the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord. Brachial plexus injuries can cause permanent weakness or disability.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of severe brachial plexus injuries can include:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brachial-plexus-injury/symptoms-causes/dxc-20127374

If you believe your child suffered a brachial plexus injury due to the labor and delivery process, please contact us today at 877-262-9767.

Robotic Training Method May Improve Gait, Posture in Kids with Cerebral Palsy

A robotic training mechanism targeting posture in children with cerebral palsy has been developed by a research team from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. A pilot study, published in the journal Science Robotics, demonstrated results of using a Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD), which was designed to improve muscle strength and coordination, during therapy for children with cerebral palsy. TPAD is a light, wearable, cable-driven robot that applies external forces on the human body during walking. Six children used the device while walking on a treadmill.  The results showed improved posture, stronger legs, and faster walking speed.

FDA Approves Neonatal MRI System

Last month, the US FDA approved a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for neonatal head and brain imaging. The Embrace Neonatal MRI System by Aspect Imaging has a temperature-controlled incubator that is placed directly into the MRI system. The fully enclosed unit does not require a radio frequency shielded room, which means it can be placed directly inside a NICU environment. This removes the challenges of transporting such a fragile population to MRI suites. If urgent access to the baby is needed during the imaging process, the patient can be removed from the system in less than 30 seconds.

Drugs May Reduce Need for Shunts to Treat Hydrocephalus, Yale Study Suggests

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine may have found a new way to treat hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid on the brain) using drugs already on the market.  The current treatment requires the surgical implantation of shunts into the skull to allow movement of fluid. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, investigated the use of a diuretic and an inflammation-reducing sepsis drug. Researchers plan to further study their findings and conduct a small clinical trial. If successful, the ability to avoid shunts, which are susceptible to infection and must be periodically replaced, would reduce stress on patients suffering from hydrocephalus.

What Causes Erb’s Palsy?

Newborns can sustain brachial plexus injuries as a result of negligence during the labor and delivery process. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves near the neck that give rise to all the nerves of the arm. Brachial plexus injuries are caused by nerve damage. Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by injury to the upper C5 and C6 nerves (nerves located in the neck). Children with Erb’s palsy have partial or full paralysis of the arm, possibly involving loss of sensation.

One or two of every 1,000 babies have this condition. It is often caused when an infant’s neck is stretched to the side during a difficult delivery.

Erb’s palsy is usually caused by:

• Long, difficult delivery;
• Delivery of a large baby (macrosomia);
• Shoulder dystocia, when a baby’s shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother’s pubic bone; or
• Breech delivery

If your child has Erb’s palsy that you believe may have been caused during the labor and delivery process, please contact us today at 877-262-9767.

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