Thanks to advancements in medical science, life expectancies have increased, and death and disability from preventable causes have decreased. We know more about nutrition, sanitation, and how the body works than we did before, and as a result, we can provide better health services across the board to patients from all walks of life. Despite these advancements, we are yet to devise a foolproof solution to reducing the risks of injury and bodily harm posed by basic human errors.
Erb’s palsy is an example of such an issue. It is an illness that often results from preventable injuries that occur to an infant or newborn during birth. A wide range of birth complications—from large baby size to the improper use of birthing devices—can lead to injury of the brachial plexus, which is a bundle of nerves near the neck. This nerve bundle controls movement and sensation in the arm and shoulder, and injury to it can lead to movement and sensory problems.
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Understanding Erb’s Palsy
A baby can sustain nerve damage in many ways. The location of the brachial plexus exposes it to various forms of trauma during and after birth. If the mother does not dilate enough, the baby’s nerves may become squeezed or pinched as the baby makes its way through the uterus. If the baby becomes stuck against the mother’s pelvis, the baby’s head may emerge while the rest of the body is stuck behind, in which case the delivery team may push down on the neck or shoulders of the baby to dislodge it.
Other birth complications can also lead to Erb’s palsy. Consider a breech birth in which a baby is delivered bottom-first or feet-first. Under such circumstances, the delivery team may be compelled to pull or push on various parts of the baby’s body to quickly extract the baby from the mother, inadvertently causing harm to the baby in the process.
These actions can lead to motor and sensory issues in the child, as well as weakness.
The issue here is not so much that a birth complication occurred, but why it occurred. A large fetus that becomes stuck inside the mother is something that can be tested. Factors that can cause this issue, such as gestational diabetes, can be identified beforehand. The same goes for breech births. They can be identified with a simple ultrasound. Other issues that can impact the ease or difficulty of delivery are the mother’s blood pressure and testing the baby’s oxygen levels ahead of time.
It is when the delivery team fails to perform tests or actions that lead to injury in the baby that malpractice comes into play. Doctors and medical caregivers are held to a high standard called the duty of care. From the Legal Information Institute, the duty of care encompasses everything that a knowledgeable and competent doctor would have done when faced with the same circumstances. When a medical team is guilty of errors and deliver care that is not up to this standard, the members of the team may be liable for all resultant damages.
Consider speaking to an attorney for help with determining damages and understanding how to collect the proof needed to build a case. An Arlington Erb’s palsy lawyer can provide you with the assistance and guidance you need. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to start the legal discovery process on your behalf: (800) 222-9529.
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Long-Term Prognosis for Erb’s Palsy
Most brachial plexus injury cases heal themselves over time. Mild cases can last as little as a few minutes if the nerves in question are only slightly pinched, twisted, or stretched. More severe forms of damage, such as tears and avulsions, which involve a detachment of nerves from the spine, can lead to permanent damage, especially if left untreated for more than four weeks after the injury occurs.
It is so important for you to screen for Erb’s palsy as soon as you see any of its signs or symptoms. You need to pinpoint the location and extent of the patient’s injuries so that you can initiate treatment and give the damaged nerves the time they need to heal. However, you also need to be prepared to pay for treatments or therapies your child may require. Your child’s recovery will depend in part on the type and extent of his or her injuries but also on the treatments and therapies he or she has access to receive.
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Our Commitment to You
We stand to ensure that the families of injured or disabled children can file and follow through with a medical malpractice claim for birth injury damages to which they are entitled. Dealing with insurance agents and healthcare representatives can be daunting, especially if you are busy managing the care of your injured loved one.
We can help you by:
- Evaluating your case to establish the grounds for filing a claim
- Collecting the evidence needed to file an intent to sue against the at-fault parties
- Quantifying the damages you and your child suffered
- Negotiating with the at-fault parties to reach a settlement
- Representing you in court if we cannot reach a settlement
Erb’s palsy is a serious disorder that you should not overlook. When it comes to birth injuries, the age of the patient and the nature of his or her injuries can sometimes lead to accompanying health issues that go undiagnosed or untreated. If your child suffered a birth injury of any type or received a formal diagnosis of Erb’s palsy, our Arlington Erb’s palsy lawyer team is here to help. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation.
The first thing we will do is evaluate your case to determine whether or not your child’s illness warrants a claim. We will then walk you through everything you need to know about your legal options, available treatments, determining fault for injuries, and where to file your claim. Avoid costly delays and call now. Do not let the medical malpractice statute of limitations under Texas Statutes Chapter 74 expire on you.