When the birth of a child is accompanied by an injury, it can leave a family unsure of their next steps. One example is a brachial plexus birth injury, which is nerve damage that can affect the hand, arm and shoulder on the affected side. In severe cases, it can result in permanent disability.
Learning to deal with a disability can be challenging for the entire family. But there are resources that may be able to help, such as a brachial plexus camp that brings together families dealing with this birth injury.
Brachial Plexus Camp for Families
Parents who have children with disabilities may feel alone. One of the ways to combat this is through a support group, where information can be shared and encouragement can be given.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center held its first annual family event at the Brachial Plexus Center on June 1, 2013 at the YMCA Camp Kern, just north of Cincinnati. It was a one-day event held on campgrounds with camp activities, such as crafts, facing painting, hikes, fishing, disc golf, swimming and more.
There are other brachial plexus camps that take place throughout the United States, which may be beneficial for families dealing with brachial plexus birth injuries. For example, the Midwest Brachial Plexus Network Inc. – 2013 Summer Camp Session was a FREE event held May 31-June 2, 2013 at the Rotary Youth Camp in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Individuals and families enjoyed the great outdoors, surrounded by wildlife and hiking trails. It included activities, crafts and a campfire. But amidst all the fun, those with brachial plexus injuries and their families connected with others going through the same thing. Keep in mind that for those unable to attend this year, it is an annual event.
Another camp is The United Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. (UBPN), which is tentatively scheduled for September 26-29, 2014 in Potosi, Mich., at the YMCA Trout Lodge. This brachial plexus camp unites families who are going through similar experiences with brachial plexus birth injuries.
Overview of Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
When this type of damage occurs at birth, it is typically the result of trauma. Prolonged or difficult births, such as when the baby becomes stuck, can increase the risk of injury. If force is used in delivering the baby, manually or through the use of assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extraction, it may increase risk of injury, especially if performed incorrectly.
If the shoulder is pulled forcefully, it can stretch or tear the nerves in the shoulder, arm and hand. Minor damage typically will heal on its own, but more severe damage may require surgery and/or physical therapy. The prognosis could be a permanent disability, with problems such as weakness, pain and paralysis.
Families affected by a brachial plexus birth injury may seek legal help from an attorney at The Becker Law Firm. Call us at (440) 252-4399.