Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus) is a condition that can develop when nerves in the neck are injured or damaged via tearing or stretching. It frequently happens as a result of complications or medical errors that occur during the birth of a child. Prolonged labor, medication errors, and the incorrect use of assistive devices during delivery can lead to Erb’s palsy. Although delivery room doctors, nurses, and other caregivers are required to treat and care for our loved ones and to provide a high level of professional service, when they make mistakes or if they act negligently, it is the newly born infant, the mother, and the family that will have to suffer injuries that are sometimes severe and life-altering.
If your child suffered a birth-related injury that led to an Erb’s palsy diagnosis, we can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by calling (800) 222-9529. Our team of experienced attorneys at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here to help you understand your legal options, the administrative and regulatory rules that apply to medical malpractice, and how to file a claim for damages. Birth injuries not only alter the course of the affected individual’s life, but they can lead to high medical bills, emotional stress, and isolation from the community. Call today to learn how to cope with and handle such circumstances.
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About Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy can occur when a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck against the mother’s pelvic bone or inside the birth canal during delivery. It can lead to nerve damage and an inability to use one arm or the other, as well as pain and a loss of motor function in the arm.
In some cases, Erb’s palsy can be preventable as long as a reasonable level of medical care is used during the baby’s delivery. If a doctor fails to recognize specific signs of a problem, does not take corrective steps on time, does not take steps to minimize the chances of an injury to the mother or the baby, or incorrectly uses delivery tools such as vacuum extractors or forces and ends up causing or worsening a birth-related injury, a child may be left with life-long Erb’s palsy.
We work to help patients and their families overcome the personal, financial, and legal challenges they will very likely face in the aftermath of an Erb’s palsy diagnosis. If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy, we are here to help. Call us at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation at no up-front cost and to take the first steps in securing the physical well-being of your child and the financial well-being of your family.
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Disabilities Caused by Erb’s Palsy
If nerves that were damaged during a child’s birth completely heal, he or she will likely overcome his or her disabilities and make a complete recovery. However, some children who suffer severe Erb’s palsy grow up with their affected arm shorter or smaller than the unaffected one. They may suffer other disabilities and health issues as well, including:
- Weakness in one arm
- Limited range of motion in the affected arm
- Bone issues such as contractures in the affected arm
- Underdeveloped fine motor skills
- Pain and discomfort
If your child’s Erb’s palsy is weak or mild, these disabilities may disappear after some time, either with therapy or with the passage of time. More serious cases will require surgery before the patient is able to recover.
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Treating Erb’s Palsy
To treat Erb’s palsy, your doctor must first determine how severe your child’s case is. Some cases will require surgery, and others can be managed with physiotherapy and other non-invasive techniques. Common treatments for brachial plexus injury also include immobilization and exercise. Some of the most common and effective treatments for Erb’s palsy include the following.
Physiotherapy involves stretching, muscle-building exercises, learning to walk and move, and performing other actions aimed at developing or improving the patient’s ability to perform specific movements or actions.
This is similar to physiotherapy in many ways and is often required after surgery or for patients who suffer long-term nerve damage. It aims to help the patient perform everyday activities such as eating, playing, grasping objects, writing, drawing, and more.
This form of therapy uses an anti-gravity environment to lower the stress on the skeleton and the muscles of the patient. This allows the patient to move with less pain while strengthening his or her muscles and reducing the occurrence of spasms.
Surgery is the last resort for Erb’s palsy patients. It is usually only performed when there is no functional recovery in the patient from the use of the other techniques outlined above. Surgical interventions include nerve grafts and nerve decompression procedures. Nerve grafts have the highest rates of success when it comes to removing disabilities and improving motor functions and independence in patients affected by Erb’s palsy.
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How We Help
Erb’s palsy affects different people in different ways. One child may require lifelong intensive care while another may not suffer serious symptoms of any type and may only require basic therapy to lead a disability-free life.
However, for those who do face impediments stemming from their Erb’s palsy, treatment can be expensive, and the financial burden of paying for therapy and treatments can quickly exhaust a family’s financial resources. Even if you are unsure about the cause of your child’s condition or how to investigate the possibility that your child’s condition was caused by medical malpractice or negligence, we are here to help. We will thoroughly investigate your child’s medical records, the treatment records of your primary doctor and his or her team, provide testimony from medical and legal professionals in support of your case, and help you navigate the complexities of insurance and malpractice claims so that you can focus on the rehabilitation and recovery of your child. To learn more about your rights and to chart out a plan for you to seek the damages you may be entitled to, call us today at (800) 222-9529.