Birth Injury Glossary
The law firm of Searcy Denney has advocated for Florida patients’ rights for 35 years. We regularly handle complex birth injury claims for mothers and children.
For your reference, our medical malpractice lawyers have defined common terms related to birth injuries below. Read our glossary and call Searcy Denney to schedule a free case evaluation. Our Florida birth injury lawyers handles claims on contingency so you do not pay lawyers’ fees unless we recover damages for you.
- Brachial plexus is the network of nerves in the shoulder and neck that transmit signals from the brain to the shoulder, upper arm, forearm, hands and fingers.
- Brachial plexus avulsion occurs when the nerves of the brachial plexus are torn from the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis, weakness, numbness, pain, disfigurement and permanent disabilities.
- Brachial plexus neuroma occurs when scar tissue forms on the overstretched nerves and presses on healthy nerves.
- Brachial plexus neuropraxia refers to the overstretching of a newborn’s nerves during delivery, which may require medical intervention to treat.
- Brachial plexus rupture occurs when the nerves are torn, usually requiring surgery or other medical intervention to treat, but may result in permanent disabilities.
- Cerebral palsy is an incurable condition caused by oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or childbirth that causes severe muscle movement restrictions and spasms.
- Cesarean section, or C-section, is an alternative to vaginal birth that may be appropriate when certain risk factors exist, such as a baby’s large size or a mother’s diabetes, obesity, small stature or history of difficult labor.
- Erb’s palsy is a condition that may result from brachial plexus injury and is characterized by paralysis of the upper brachial plexus nerves.
- Facial nerve palsy may occur after prolonged pressure on the cranial nerve, and manifests in facial nerve paralysis.
- Femoral nerve dysfunction is a debilitating postpartum condition in which the mother’s leg nerves are damaged during a difficult labor.
- Fetal distress refers to the fetus’s or newborn baby’s stress signals during pregnancy or labor, often caused by oxygen asphyxia.
- Klumpke paralysis is a condition that may result from brachial plexus injury and is characterized by paralysis of the upper brachial plexus nerves.
- Lumbosacral plexus injury is a debilitating postpartum condition in which the mother’s leg nerves are damaged by an improperly placed epidural needle during delivery.
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) occurs when the baby passes the first stool in the amniotic fluid and then breathes in, which results in oxygen asphyxia.
- Oxygen asphyxia refers to oxygen deprivation, often caused by a pinched placenta, early placental birth or prolonged delivery, and can result in brain damage within minutes.
- Perineal tears occur to the mother’s vagina during delivery, and may penetrate her muscles, nerves and the anal sphincter, resulting in pain, numbness, incontinence, sexual dysfunction and disability.
- Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby’s arm gets trapped during delivery and is a common precursor to brachial plexus injury.
- Uterine prolapse refers to the condition in which the mother’s pelvic floor stretches and weakens during pregnancy or delivery, allowing the uterus to bulge through the vaginal canal, and may result in discomfort, sexual dysfunction, infertility, problems urinating and prolapse of other organs.