CC BY 4.0 · J Brachial Plex Peripher Nerve Inj 2021; 16(01): e46-e50
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1731746
Original Contribution

First Study of the Prevalence and Characterization of Brachial Plexus Injuries in Guatemala

Carmen Joanna González Lemus
1   Department of Medical Science, Rafael Landivar University of Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Fernando Xavier Romero Prieto
2   Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Unit, Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Roosevelt Hospital, Guatemala City, Guatemala
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Objective This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of brachial plexus injuries and to characterize clinically and epidemiologically patients with brachial plexus injury.

Materials and Methods In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 2,923 medical records of patients aged 1 to 64 years who presented at outpatient peripheral nerve unit of the Orthopedic Surgery Department of Hospital Roosevelt, Guatemala, from January 2017 to December 2017, were prospectively analyzed to identify the prevalence and factors associated with brachial plexus injuries.

Results The prevalence rate of brachial plexus injuries in patients was 5.74%. This injury is more common in men (90.5%) aged 24 to 64 years. Brachial plexus injuries occurred secondary to motorcycle accident in 72% of the cases, with the majority affecting the dominant upper extremity. In addition, 64.28% of the patients took 1 to 6 months to seek consultation, whereas only 16.07% requested medical assistance <1 month from the onset of symptoms, and this result was associated with early diagnosis and adequate recovery during follow-up. Furthermore, 66.67% presented upper brachial plexus injury with no associated fractures or vascular injury, manifesting distress while performing daily activities that required hand, arm, and elbow movements.

Conclusion The risk of suffering BPIs in Guatemala increases in economically active male patients that use motorcycles as main mode of transportation. Patients should consult immediately after injury onset to optimize management results. For this reason, hospitals must develop specialized clinical guidelines to speed up the identification and treatment of BPI injuries.

Publication History

Received: 20 October 2020

Accepted: 18 February 2021

Article published online:
27 July 2021

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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