Epidemiology of brachial plexus palsy in newborns

Nerimane Abazi, Ardiana Murtezani, Zana Ibraimi, Arbnore Batalli Këpuska, Agim Berisha


Objective – The aim of this study was to analyze the frequency of brachial palsy by gender, type, side, the newborn mother's parity and to identify its potential risk factors.

Material and methods – Eighty-four newborn infants with brachial palsy were studied retrospectively at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo. The disease was confirmed by physical examination, neurological examination, and radiography.

Results – The majority of newborns included in this study were male, with the Erb-Duchene type of brachial palsy. A greater number of newborn infants (70.2%) had sustained injuries to the right side. The most frequent occurrence was to the firstborn baby. Shoulder dystocia (39.3%), macrosomia (16.7%) and vaginal breech delivery (13.1%) were the most frequent potential risk factors identified in this study. The incidence of plexus brachial injury ranges from 1.8 to 3.35, depending on the ordinal number of the mother’s delivery. The highest incidence is in mothers on their first- delivery, while the lowest is for those having the second child. The overall average incidence rate of brachial palsy is 2.62 per 1000 newborns.

Conclusion – Our study has shown that the incidence of brachial plexus palsy is relatively high in newborns. Newborns with shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, and those born by vaginal breech delivery are at greater risk for brachial plexus palsy. Further research should be focused on the treatment and rehabilitation of children with brachial plexus palsy.


Epidemiology ; Brachial plexus palsy ; Newborns

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5457/p2005-114.98


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