Report: Birth Injury Linked to a Higher Risk of Mental Illness
A recent study finds that children born with a birth injury that affects nerve fibers face a higher risk of mental health illness as teenagers. The Swedish study concludes that girls from lower income families face the highest risk of suffering mental health issues in their teen years.
The condition linked to mental illness during teen years is called brachialis plexus birth injury (BPBI), also known as brachial plexus palsy. One form is known as Erb’s palsy, a condition in which the nerve fibers leading to an arm are damaged at birth.
Babies may suffer BPBI if their neck is stretched to the side during a difficult birth. A doctor who applies improper pressure and force on the infant may be responsible for causing this avoidable trauma, which is called shoulder dystocia.
The Swedish study, which was published March 21, 2018, found that teens who suffered BPBI used medications to treat mental health illness more than other children.
Why do girls born with BPBI suffer mental illness more than boys?
Girls who suffered the birth injury in particular are at risk of mental health issues in their teen years because of “trauma and discrimination on many levels,” according to PsychCentral which reported on the Swedish study.
“In my previous research, I have seen how the experiences and consequences of school-related stress are greater in girls than in boys,” according to the study’s lead author, Elia Psouni, an associate professor of developmental psychology at Lund University in Sweden who was quoted in PsychCentral.
The impairment for children suffering from the condition ranges from minor to severe. Some kids are completely unable to move their arms, while others have nearly full function of the affected limb. According to Stanford Children’s Health, some babies born with BPBI can recover within a few months. However, other babies who have sustained tearing of their nerve fibers may experience permanent damage.
We know that birth injuries are preventable. Doctors and other medical professionals know to apply their training and experience during the most difficult births. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to take corrective measures when they see warning signs of a potential birth injury such as brachial plexus palsy.
As the new study reveals, a brachial plexus birth injury can lead to complications that go beyond a physical impairment. A child with BPBI may also have to deal with a mental illness that could have a profound impact on his or her quality of life.
If your child is suffering from BPBI due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, you will need an experienced attorney in your corner. Contact Tyrone Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation. We serve families across Georgia who are facing some of the most difficult circumstances.