Brachial plexus birth injuries occur at a frequency of 1–2 per 1000 births. Many of these injuries spontaneously resolve. Should spontaneous recovery not occur within the first 4–6 months of life, the prognosis for attaining movement and function of the affected appendage is significantly impaired. The child demonstrates a lifelong disfiguring and functional handicap.
With advances in technology, diagnosis and microsurgical techniques, surgical exploration of the brachial plexus has been revived. A multidisciplinary approach has provided dynamic results. At present only one institution in the United States utilizes this innovative protocol. This article addresses the collaborative perioperative nursing implications for a child with brachial plexus birth injury.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Janet Brucker, RN, MS at: Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030. She is an assistant director.
John P. Laurent, MD is an associate professor of neurosurgery and assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
Rita Lee, MD, is an assistant professor of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Saleh Shenaq, MD is a pediatric plastic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine.
Julie Parke, MD is an assistant professor of pediatric neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Itzel Solis, MD is an associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
William Cheek, MD, is chief of neurosurgery at Texas Children's Hospital and St. Lukes Episcopal Hospital, and assistant professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
© 1991 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses