Erb’s palsy is an illness that impacts the nerves and muscles in the arms. In many cases, the child that suffers from Erb’s palsy can make a total recovery from his or her illness within a few months. Various forms of treatment such as therapy may be needed, but the overall prognosis of the syndrome is overwhelmingly positive. Children born with Erb’s palsy can usually make a complete recovery by the time they are six months to one year old if treatments are initiated in a timely manner.
However, there are situations in which Erb’s palsy can lead to permanent and lifelong disabilities according to the National Institutes of Health. These include instances of severe nerve damage, delays in treatment, or a lack of patient response to various rehabilitative interventions. Call a Port St. Lucie Erb’s palsy lawyer for a free case evaluation to rule out any such possibilities. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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The Causes of Erb’s Palsy
A diagnosis of an Erb’s palsy injury is one that should be taken with appropriate levels of concern. It is caused by damage to the nerves that control the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. These nerves are part of a nerve bundle called the brachial plexus. Because the brachial plexus is located near the neck, it is especially susceptible to injury, especially during a complicated or emergency birth situation.
If a pregnant woman develops gestational diabetes, the baby may grow to a very large size and may be unable to pass through the birth canal. A large baby may also become stuck against the mother’s pelvic bone, or the mother may simply not dilate enough for her baby to be delivered. It is also possible that the baby is born feet first. Such a situation, known as a breech birth, can also lead to the baby becoming stuck in the birth canal before being delivered.
It is under circumstances such as these that the delivery team may have to resort to a forced extraction of the baby. In doing so, they may twist, push, or pull on different parts of the baby’s body. Twisting the arm, pushing the head to one side or the other, or applying force on the neck and shoulders in an effort to dislodge it from the mother can cause instant stretching, pinching, or severing of the baby’s nerves, especially those in the brachial plexus, leading to Erb’s palsy.
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The Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
When this happens, the impact on the baby depends on the extent to which the baby’s nerves were damaged. According to Mayo Clinic, damage to the brachial plexus occurs in one of four ways:
- Neuropraxia is the term given to the stretching of nerves.
- An avulsion occurs when a nerve becomes torn from its roots in the spinal cord.
- A neuroma develops via scar tissue pressing on a nerve, hampering its ability to send signals.
- A rupture occurs when a nerve only tears somewhere along the length of the nerve.
Depending on which of the four categories of nerve damage your child sustained, he or she may exhibit only mild symptoms or may face a dire set of developmental and growth challenges. Some of the common symptoms associated with Erb’s palsy include:
- Problems with sensation in the affected arm, ranging from tingling in the fingers to paralysis
- An inability to move the arm
- An inability to move the arm in certain ways
- Stiff or floppy muscles
- Bone and joint problems
These symptoms can, in turn, lead to a wider range of issues for the affected family, from emotional detachment and isolation of the patient to stress, financial challenges, and lost work opportunities for the family members since they may be bound by care schedules and supervision of their disabled loved one.
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Erb’s Palsy Expenses and Settlements
In order to process a malpractice claim, you need to first determine whether or not negligence played a role in causing your child’s brachial plexus injury. To do this, you need to establish that:
- The delivery team owed you a duty of care, which requires treating your child with the skills, competence, and professionalism that any responsible doctor would have provided when faced with similar delivery circumstances.
- The delivery team came up short in doing so and therefore breached the duty of care.
- That your child suffered an injury as a result of this breach.
- That the injury or injuries led to losses of some sort, whether financial, emotional, physical, or otherwise.
Based on your Port St. Lucie Erb’s Palsy lawyer’s determination on the role of medical negligence and malpractice in your child’s case, we can put together a claim that includes a demand for compensation for some or all of the following:
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Medical treatment expenses
- Diagnostic tests
- Doctor’s visits and ambulance fees
- Therapy and specialist costs
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Call Us Today
According to the Cleveland Clinic, treating Erb’s palsy can lead to substantial costs, especially in cases that involve severe damage or require treatment for months or years. If your child shows any of the signs or symptoms of Erb’s palsy outlined above or if he or she suffered a birth injury of any type, we may be able to help.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free case evaluation at (800) 222-9529. We will look into your case, gather your child’s medical documents, and speak with you about your legal options with no upfront cost to you.
Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee-basis that is essentially no win, no fee. We only collect when you win a compensation payout or a settlement from the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries. So call us today at (800) 222-9529 for your free, no-risk consultation.