To investigate risk factors for brachial plexus palsy in newborns. We analyzed 45 544 live-born children, born over a nine-year period from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 2004.
The analysis was retrospective and based on the medical documentation of the Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics, Clinic for Neurology, and Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the University Clinical Center Tuzla. We compared study and control groups of newborns. Rates among groups were compared using Chi-square, with significance at p < 0.05, and with significance at p < 0.01.
Examining epidemiological characteristics, 86 newborns with brachial plexus palsy had been recorded, thus, the prevalence was 1.86 per 1000 live-born children. Analyzing maternal and neonatal factors, and the labor pattern itself, it was found that the highest factors of risk for brachial plexus injury were birth weight of over 4000 g, a precipitous second stage of labor (<15 minutes), and vacuum-extractor assisted labor. Brachial plexus palsy was more frequent when the mothers were overweight, with a body mass index >or=29 kg/m2. None of the parturient women, whose newborns were diagnosed with brachial plexus palsy, had external conjugate diameter <18 cm. Newborns delivered vaginally were not diagnosed with a higher frequency of brachial plexus palsy when compared to newborns who were delivered by cesarean section, but newborns who were vaginal breech-delivered were diagnosed to have a higher incidence of brachial plexus palsy. Newborns whose mothers were older than 35 years were diagnosed to have brachial plexus palsy more frequently, but a statistically significant difference between primiparas and multiparas was not found. A total of 39 newborns (45.2%) were diagnosed with a fracture of the clavicle, which was the most frequently combined damage with brachial plexus injury. Forty-two newborns (48.8%) had an Apgar score of <or=7 in the first minute after delivery, which indicates intrapartal fetal distress and is an indication of the traumatic nature of these deliveries. The average birth weight of newborns with brachial plexus damage was 3858.1+/-587.7 g, which for an average gestational age of 38.8+/-1.8 weeks, corresponds to eutrophic newborns. Both male and female newborns were diagnosed to have brachial plexus palsy comparably frequently, and almost all deliveries (97.7%) were initiated spontaneously. The majority of newborns were born between the hours of 02:00 and 03:00 and between the hours of 14:00-15:00.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obstetrical brachial plexus palsy, one of the most complex peripheral nerve injuries, presents as an injury during the neonatal period. The majority of the children recover with either no deficit or a minor functional deficit, but it is almost certain that some will not regain adequate limb function. These few cases must be managed in an optimal way. Considerable medical and legal debate has surrounded the etiologic factors of this traumatic lesion, and obstetricians are often considered responsible for the injury. According to recent studies, spontaneous endogenous forces may contribute substantially to this type of neonatal trauma. All obstetric circumstances that predispose to brachial plexus damage and that could be anticipated should be assessed. Correct diagnosis is necessary for the accurate estimation of prognosis and treatment. The most important aspect of therapy is timely recognition and referral, to prevent the various possible sequelae affecting the shoulder, elbow, or forearm. Since the early 1990s, research has increased the understanding of obstetrical brachial plexus palsy. Further research is needed, focused on developing strategies to predict brachial injury. This review focuses on emerging data relating to obstetrical brachial plexus palsy and discusses the present controversies regarding natural history, prognosis, and treatment in infants with brachial plexus birth palsies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this chapter is to describe and discuss the radiographic, intraoperative, and histologic findings that are
present after brachial plexus birth injury. This review is based on the authors’ clinical and operative experiences and a
survey of the peer-reviewed literature. Together our findings provide evidence that in the vast majority of cases of brachial
plexus birth palsy are secondary to a forceful traction injury affecting the brachial plexus that occurs when the child is
KeywordsBirth palsy–brachial plexus–nerve injury–neuroma–shoulder dystocia
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three special, chronic morbidities of childbirth are reviewed with the most up-to-date knowledge in this article. Firstly, obstetric fistulas secondary to prolonged obstructed labour are still prevalent tragedies in underdeveloped countries. The damage is not only physical but psychosexual and social. The surgical skill and technology required to prevent and to treat obstetric fistulas are simple, but culture-social antagonism, geographic distance, political instability and financial constraint have to be overcome before effective management can take place. Congenital brachial plexus palsy is associated with shoulder dystocia and macrosomia, and both excessive exogenous traction and strong endogenous pushing forces contribute to its occurrence. As shoulder dystocia and macrosomia are not easily predictable, regular training and drill is essential to ensure proper management of shoulder dystocia. Most of the babies with brachial palsy will recover in 3 months but a minority of patients will suffer a more severe degree of damage, requiring early micro-neurosurgical intervention. Finally, although birth asphyxia is not the major cause of cerebral palsy, brain injury resulting from acute intrapartum hypoxic-ischemic insult is potentially alleviated by early neonatal hypothermic therapy. Both clinical and radiological assessments are essential in selecting suitable candidates for this innovative neuroprotective strategy.
Best practice & research. Clinical obstetrics & gynaecology 03/2009; 23(3):401-23. DOI:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2009.01.002 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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