Medical science has come a long way over the past 50 years, and we know much more about health, sanitation, nutrition, and infections than we did in the past. Over time, the medical field has become increasingly focused on improving patient outcomes. We now have specialists in every imaginable field who undergo rigorous training to ensure that patient needs are met and that care is provided to those who need it in the most comprehensive and effective way possible.
Despite these advances, however, injuries from medical errors are alarmingly common. When it comes to childbirth and delivery cases, the effects of a mistake can lead to long-term consequences. To mitigate the impacts of such issues, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families in Cape Coral understand, deal with, and plan for the challenges posed by a birth injury to a loved one. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 to talk with a member of our team about the issues you and your family are facing and if a Cape Coral Erb’s palsy lawyer can fight for you.
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Erb’s Palsy and Birth Injuries
Erb’s palsy is a serious illness that is caused by injury to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a system of nerves in the neck that controls the arms and hands. Injuries to the brachial plexus can be sustained in many ways, with Erb’s palsy one of the outcomes. Such injuries are especially common during childbirth and are often seen in the following situations:
- Breech births, which is when a baby is delivered feet-first or bottom-first, causing the baby’s arms to be raised or twisted awkwardly inside the birth canal, leading to different types of nerve damage.
- When a baby’s head or neck is pulled, pushed, or stretched forcefully to one side or the other as the baby makes its way through the birth canal.
- If a baby is too large or the mother does not dilate enough to allow it to pass through, the baby’s head may emerge while the shoulders are stuck behind, causing stretching of the neck and the nerves within.
The symptoms of Erb’s palsy include limited sensation, limited ability to move, or paralysis in the affected arm. The arm may also present as excessively floppy or very rigid, and the child may have limited control over how they can move it. Such cases can pose serious challenges to the physical, emotional, and social development of the child. Treatments include physical therapy, specialized care, the help of assistive devices, and surgery.
Depending on how your child’s injuries arose, they may be categorized as preventable, in which case you may have grounds to sue the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries for compensation for the damages and financial losses that result from those injuries.
Determining whether injuries were preventable usually depends on:
- Establishing whether your child’s doctor or delivery team owed you a duty of care
- How that duty may have been breached
- Whether your child’s doctor or delivery team could or should have been able to prevent those injuries from occurring
This determination is not always easy to make, especially when you are still reeling from your child’s diagnosis. A Cape Coral Erb’s palsy lawyer can look over your case with a clear eye and help you make that determination.
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Risk Factors and Medical Negligence
Before starting your investigation, it is important to understand the risk factors of Erb’s palsy. Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of sustaining an injury and developing Erb’s palsy. These include large infant size, C-section births, and doctor inexperience. Clerical and administrative errors, such as the administration of incorrect dosages of medications, can also lead to birth injuries.
The same is true for the incorrect use of assistive devices to deliver a baby in a complicated or emergency birth. Extraction devices, in particular, are known to cause physical damage and trauma in newborn children, especially when incorrectly used.
Doctors and other members of the delivery team are expected—and required—to know how and when to take precautionary steps to prevent the mother and her baby from sustaining injuries during the mother’s pregnancy, during the child’s birth, and soon after delivery.
If your child suffered a birth injury or exhibits any of the signs of Erb’s palsy, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation with a team member.
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The Long-Term Outlook of Erb’s Palsy Cases
In most cases, brachial plexus injuries recover over time, but only if the nerve damage involved is not severe. Mild birth injuries that lead to Erb’s palsy usually heal, and the affected child may be able to recover most or all of their motor functions between three and six months after birth.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, however, describes how extreme cases can lead to long-term disabilities and even permanent weakness. These cases usually happen when a baby’s nerves tear from their spinal roots, a type of injury called an avulsion that is often accompanied by excruciating pain. These kinds of injuries usually require surgery and may never completely heal.
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How We Can Help
It can be exceedingly difficult for a family with an injured or disabled child to file and follow through with a medical malpractice claim, especially since medical and legal rules and jargon are so complex. Understanding Florida’s medical malpractice statute (§ 766.102) while dealing with your child’s injury is asking a lot of anyone.
Furthermore, dealing with insurance companies and healthcare institutions can be very difficult when you have so many other things to take care of. The good news, though, is that the Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here to help. A Cape Coral Erb’s palsy lawyer can manage your case by:
- Determining whether you have grounds for filing a malpractice claim
- If you do, collecting the evidence needed to prove your case
- Quantifying the damages that you suffered
- Filing a claim and negotiating with the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries on your behalf
- Finally, if a settlement cannot be reached, taking your case to trial so that the court can decide your case
Erb’s palsy is an illness that should not be ignored, and we are here to help. If your child suffered a birth injury or was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free case evaluation. A statute of limitations applies to malpractice cases, so call (800) 222-9529 to get started on your case.
A member of our team will walk you through what you need to know with regards to your legal options. We can work with you to determine if you have the right to seek compensation and how to evaluate and file a claim for those damages.
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