Erb’s palsy is an illness of the nervous system that occurs when the brachial plexus, which is a system of nerves in the neck, sustains damage such as tearing, bruising, or separation from the spinal cord. These types of injuries are common in birth and delivery cases, especially in emergency deliveries that require some form of forced extraction of the baby from the mother. If anything goes wrong during such an extraction, it can change the course of the affected individual’s life forever.
If your child received a diagnosis of Erb’s palsy, we understand the devastation that you may feel. We have worked with families in Gainesville and across the country as they deal with the stress, challenges, and fallout of birth injury cases. If your child’s injuries were the result of an avoidable or preventable delivery room error that should never have occurred, we are here to help you seek the justice you deserve. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free case evaluation at (800) 222-9529.
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Understanding Erb’s Palsy
The word palsy means paralysis of some sort. Erb’s palsy is a type of paralysis that affects movement and sensation in all of or parts of the arm. Stretching, tearing, or detachment of the nerves in the brachial plexus can cause Erb’s palsy and is often an avoidable birth injury.
Most babies born with a brachial plexus injury make a full recovery over time, but this only holds true if the damage sustained during delivery is minor, and the child receives treatment in time. If so, the baby will likely recover most if not all of the function and sensation of their affected arm by the time they are about six months old.
Long-term or even permanent disabilities can develop if the baby sustains serious or extensive nerve damage, as is common when certain nerves are stretched far enough to tear. Delays in treatment can also lead to permanent health issues. A challenging aspect of dealing with Erb’s palsy is that it can be difficult to identify, but if a child sustains a birth injury but receives no treatment for it for even as little as four weeks, the damage may become permanent.
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Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Some birth injuries are more severe than Erb’s palsy, such as cerebral palsy or hypoxia. Mild cases of Erb’s palsy usually recover on their own. However, when it comes to severe cases of brachial plexus injury, especially when the nerve roots become detached from the spinal cord during a complicated or emergency delivery, the patient can suffer long-term injuries such as:
- Extreme pain and discomfort
- Weakness in the affected arm
- Development issues in the affected arm
- Bone contractures and misaligned joints
- Poor fine motor skills
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Treatments and Management for Erb’s Palsy
Treating and managing Erb’s palsy involves surgery for serious cases, therapy for moderate cases, and a range of noninvasive techniques such as splints, strength training exercises, and various forms of immobilization for mild cases. Surgery usually involves nerve grafts, nerve decompression operations, or nerve transfers.
If your child suffered a birth injury or received a diagnosis of Erb’s palsy, a Gainesville Erb’s palsy lawyer is here to help. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free case evaluation. Simply call (800) 222-9529. Our team will walk you through what you need to know with regards to your legal options, including how to determine whether you have the right to seek damages and compensation and how to evaluate and file a claim for those damages.
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Avoid Common Birth Injury Case Errors
As soon as you receive an Erb’s palsy diagnosis, we recommend you follow this important list of what to do and what not to do:
- Do not accept any compensation until you have reviewed it with a lawyer.
- Do not initiate treatments without consulting your doctor.
- Do not quit your job or relocate to a new area that provides certain services or treatments.
- Do not delay seeking a diagnosis and assessment of your child.
- Do speak with a lawyer to better understand your rights and responsibilities.
- Do perform the diagnostic tests needed to ascertain when, where, and how your child sustained injuries.
- Do keep a record of all expenses that accrue from your child’s care and treatment.
- Do seek a second opinion on your child’s illness.
A Gainesville Erb’s Palsy Lawyer May Help
Determining responsibility for your child’s injuries involves establishing that your child’s delivery team owed you a duty of care, they were obligated to treat your child with a certain level of competence, they breached the duty of care in some way, and your child sustained injuries as a result. You may also have to prove that those damages resulted in some type of damage to you, either in the form of financial losses or in the form of pain and suffering, lost opportunities, social stigma, or otherwise.
Doing this will involve obtaining statements from the medical delivery team, assessing the extent of your child’s injuries, quantifying the damages you have suffered as a result of your child’s Erb’s palsy, and identifying specific individuals or parties that were responsible for the mistakes or errors in question.
This process can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you are faced with the challenge of caring for your child, paying for treatment, and trying to understand all of the implications that your child’s condition will have on your family.
This is where we can help. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to discuss your case and learn more about Erb’s palsy, health injury cases, and how we handle the insurance and civil claims for birth injuries. Our team will help you collect the evidence needed to prove your claim, and we will also interview medical and legal specialists to use their testimony in support of your case if your child’s injuries warrant compensation.