Brachial plexus injuries are a type of relatively common birth injury, occurring in about two to three times per 1,000 births. The brachial plexus is a network of nerve connections that sends signals from the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands to allow feeling and muscle control.
When the nerves are stretched, compressed, or ripped during a traumatic event, it can lead to brachial plexus injuries and loss of motor function and feeling. In newborns, these injuries commonly occur when:
- The baby is breech during birth
- The mother has a very long labor and delivery
- The baby’s shoulders are too wide to fit through the mother’s birth canal
While many mild brachial plexus injuries may heal completely with time, moderate cases may require the infant to receive physical therapy. Additionally, severe cases may require surgical treatments and cause permanent damage.
Regenerating Nerves to Heal Brachial Plexus Damage
A new study from the University of Notre Dame has identified treatment strategies for those who have sustained damage to their brachial plexus. Such treatment could be a path toward full recovery.
The researchers identified that how the brachial nerves heal after injury are different from how they are formed during fetal development, then sought to recreate this process by using a chemotherapy drug to reestablish the necessary nerve connections within the spinal cord.
In the lab model of this study, the nerves were able to regenerate and fully reconnect within 48 hours, completely restoring function. They hope to be able to use this process in the future on infants with brachial plexus injuries as well as children and adults.
Helping Your Family Recover After a Birth Injury
At Angel Law, our Portland birth injury attorney represents the families of infants that have sustained birth injuries due to the negligence of medical providers. If your baby suffered harm due to medical staff, your family deserves to be properly compensated for the traumatic ordeal you have been through as well as all related medical expenses.
We are here to help you through your family’s most trying times. Contact our firm at (503) 862-8666 to get the justice that your family deserves.