One of the most comprehensive studies of the effect of birth modes on birth injury is the 1999 study, “Effect of Mode of Delivery in Nulliparous Women on Neonatal Intracranial Injury,” by Dena Towner, M.D. et all, also known simply as The Towner Study. Although the study was originally designed to consider the safety and effectiveness of vacuum extraction delivery for newborns, the study, which considered over half a million live-born single infants to women who had had no previous children, between 1992 and 1994 also revealed the potentially dangerous effects of several different extraction methods.

Delivery by forceps is, according to The Towner Study, the most dangerous method of delivery. It increases the incidence of facial-nerve injury by over 13 times, and the incidence of brachial plexus injury by over three times. Vacuum extraction has an incidence of brachial plexus injury over twice that of spontaneous birth. In fact, the only method of delivery that results in a reduced rate of brachial plexus injury is planned Caesarean section (C-section), which reduces the risk by half.

Therefore, planned C-section is often recommended for the prevention of brachial plexus injuries, which can lead to paralysis or palsy in one or both arms, especially when the baby is late or large in comparison to the mother’s pelvis.

If your child suffered brachial plexus as a result of a completed or attempted vaginal birth when a c-section may have been recommended, you may be facing a lifetime of medical expenses and intense care. A medical malpractice lawsuit may help cover some of these expenses. Schedule a brachial plexus injury consultation with the Columbus, Ohio law firm of Robert W. Kerpsack CO., L.P.A.