Was your child diagnosed with Erb’s palsy? There are many ways it can develop, and you can usually file a malpractice case for medical negligence against an at-fault doctor or healthcare worker if you can prove that the injuries or damages your child suffered before, during, or soon after birth were preventable. To do this, you will have to prove that negligence or medical errors caused your child to suffer the kinds of nerve injuries that lead to Erb’s palsy and that you had to pay for various treatments or suffered other losses as a result.
If an emergency delivery was involved when your child was born, if the mother suffered a birth complication of any sort, or if your child exhibits weakness in the arm, shoulder, or parts of the hands or in some of his or her fingers, this may indicate Erb’s palsy. Delays in treatment can cause these injuries to become permanent, so call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group immediately at (800) 222-9529 to launch an investigation into the causes and extent of your child’s injuries. We charge no upfront fees and provide services on a no-win, no-fee basis, so call now.
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Diagnosing Erb’s Palsy
The physical manifestations of Erb’s palsy are easy to identify. The hand of the patient–often an infant or a newborn–tends to hang limply to the side. Children who are a few months old may not be able to use their affected arm to varying extents, and the arm may be awkwardly bent toward the body at the elbow. Some form of spasticity or stiff muscles may also develop, and the patient’s muscle tone can change from floppy to very rigid very quickly, sometimes over the course of a single day.
The parents of the child are usually the first ones to notice these health issues and symptoms in the child, although the medical team that delivered your child may also have noticed them. It is not uncommon for Erb’s palsy to be diagnosed as soon as a baby is born. When this happens, it is important that whatever corrective actions your child’s doctor recommends are initiated as soon as possible because research has found that, in infants, delays beyond one month in initiating treatments for nerve damage that causes Erb’s palsy can lead to permanent issues.
In older children and adults, the situation is much less dire, and the patient can usually speak about the issues they are facing and it is also easier to perform additional forms of testing such as nerve conductivity or electrical impulse testing to pinpoint where and to what degree the patient has suffered from nerve damage. Based on these results and the results of scans from MRIs and blood tests, the medical team treating your child can rule out factors such as internal bleeding, infections, and gestational diabetes as likely contributors to your child’s condition.
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Treating Erb’s Palsy
Treatments for Erb’s palsy depend on where, how, and to what degree the patient has suffered nerve damage. It is important to keep in mind that injuries and illnesses that involve the sensory and neurological physiology of the body–in other words, anything that affects the brain, nerves, and sensation–are categorized based on the effects seen in the patient. Some people may exhibit mild symptoms while others are struck much harder with health issues. Furthermore, multiple types of nerve damage can occur, so the right diagnosis is crucial.
Before treatments can be initiated, your child’s doctor must pinpoint where and how badly nerve damage that led to Erb’s palsy occurred. The shoulders and arms are controlled by nerves that converge in the neck to form a bundle called the brachial plexus. Signals travel along these nerves from the brain and spinal cord to terminal points in the shoulder, arms, hands, and fingers. These nerves can become torn, stretched, pinched, twisted, or uprooted from the spine.
In cases involving torn or uprooted nerves, surgery is usually required to repair the damage and to restore sensation in the areas that are affected. Pinched or stretched nerves can recover on their own but regular therapy may be needed. Therapy options usually include physiotherapy to restore strength and range of motion in the affected arm and occupational therapy to help the patient–children aged six and older, in most cases–learn how to perform useful functions such as buttoning clothes, feeding themselves, writing, grasping objects, and more.
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Costs and Expenses
If your child’s injuries were the result of preventable birth injuries that your child’s care team should have known about, prepared for, or avoided but did not, you should not have to pay for the costs and expenses that accrue to you from your child’s treatment.
If you can prove that your child’s delivery team was guilty of negligence, you may be able to recover:
- Treatment expenses
- Surgery and medication costs
- Therapy fees
- Lost income
We are here to help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is the leading birth injury practice and we will help you find the treatment your child needs, and we will also:
- Collect the evidence needed to build a case.
- Help you put together and file all necessary paperwork.
- Interview the medical team responsible for delivering your child.
- Handle insurance agents, the hospital’s legal team, and others with vested interests in your malpractice claim.
- Keep you up to date with the progress of your claim.
- Negotiate with the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries if they wish to settle out of court.
- Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached.
As mentioned above, nerve damage leading to Erb’s palsy is a serious issue, especially in infants and newborns. Delays in administering treatment can cause nerve damage to become permanent. You must act quickly so call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free consultation and case evaluation at (800) 222-9529 to get things started and to initiate the discovery process to pinpoint the cause of your child’s injuries so that we can determine negligence–or the absence thereof–and so you can take the right steps for your child accordingly. Call now.