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Woman spreads word about preventable birth injury


Connecticut women giving birth rarely even hear the term brachial plexus injury let alone encounter the problem. But for one woman and her young daughter, it is something they live with every day.

Now three years old, the daughter has trouble using her shoulder and right arm because of a birth injury. During the child's delivery, the baby suffered shoulder dystocia - that is, her shoulder became wedged in the mother's pelvis.

If a physician is not careful, shoulder dystocia can damage the brachial plexus, the nervous system in an infant's shoulder. The risk is higher, some birth experts say, because many hospitals follow the traditional practice keeping the mother lying on her back to make delivery easier for doctors. This creates more stress on the mother's body and generates the blunt force that leads to shoulder dystocia.

The mother is now raising awareness about brachial plexus injury so that other women and children will not suffer the same fate. She advises women to check out ways to prevent birth injuries and to be ready if it happens. The woman is speaking out as part of International Brachial Plexus Injury Awareness Week, which falls in the last week of October.

The last thing a child needs entering the world is a permanent disability that was preventable in the first place. Mothers rely on medical practitioners to get crucial decisions during childbirth right. When the results of a bad decision injure a child, it may be considered negligence. For this, parents can take legal action against a hospital or medical practitioner.

Any New Haven parents in similar situations are advised against taking an offered settlement without first consulting a legal professional because the amount offered may not be enough in permanent disability cases. Other legal courses may offer better long-term financial outcomes.

Source: Wibwnewsnow.com, "Local Mother Wishes To Spread Awareness For Brachial Plexus Injury Awareness Week," Kelly Hurla, Oct. 16, 2013

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