Erb’s palsy is a type of birth injury that can occur naturally or as a result of delivery-related errors. It develops when the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves in the neck that controls the arms, sustains damage or injury, leading to a loss of sensation and strength, limited motor control, pain, and growth defects in the affected arm. The incorrect use of assistive devices such as vacuum extractors or forceps that are used to pull a baby out of the birth canal can easily cause the baby’s head, neck, shoulders, or arms to stretch too far one way or another, resulting in tearing, pinching, or squeezing of the brachial plexus.
If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy and if you can prove that it was the result of medical negligence, you may be able to file a claim against your doctor, his or her medical team, or the hospital at which your child was born. To learn out more about how we can help, call us at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation. We offer services on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front cost; we only receive payment for our services once you have received compensation or a settlement for your child’s injuries, so call today.
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Erb’s Palsy Injuries
Every case of Erb’s palsy is different. While it can occur naturally, it often occurs when trauma is sustained by a baby during birth, usually as a result of medical malpractice. In legal terms, medical malpractice is defined as when a medical professional fails to adhere to a set standard of care and causes his or her patient an injury as a result. This standard of care is defined as what the medical community deems to be reasonable expectations of the doctor in a given situation and what other medical professionals would have done if faced with a similar set of circumstances.
Cases that involve medical negligence or malpractice require the injured party to assess the total cost of the injury to them by calculating the value of medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of future earning potential, and other direct and indirect losses that accrue from the injury and then present a claim for compensation to the defendant or the court.
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Erb’s palsy can occur in the following ways.
This is an injury that occurs when a child’s shoulder becomes lodged against the mother’s pelvic bone, making it difficult for the baby to pass into the world. Medical professionals who deliver a child in such a situation need proper training to be able to alleviate a shoulder dystocia case in a timely manner in order to avoid causing a birth injury or other health complications for the mother and her child.
Children are usually delivered head-first, but in some cases, they can turn in the uterus before delivery and may enter the world feet-first. When this happens, it can place a great deal of pressure on the child’s head, neck, and shoulders, leading to tearing and ripping of the baby’s delicate nerves. Ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests can be used by members of the delivery team to identify and then prepare for breech birth. A failure to schedule a C-section to reduce the risks of injury at birth from a breech delivery can be considered negligence.
Improper Use of Assistive Device
Devices such as vacuum extractors and forceps are sometimes used to help deliver babies that are stuck inside the mother. Cases such as breech births, prolonged labor, or weak vital signs in the infant will require the delivery team to use such tools to quickly deliver the baby, but doctors need the requisite training if they are to use these tools properly. The improper use of vacuum extractors and forceps can damage an infant’s delicate skull or may cause nerve damage in the neck, shoulders, or arms, leading to Erb’s palsy.
Medical professionals must familiarize themselves with emergency protocols and take note of potential risk factors that may require special delivery procedures to be followed before a child is to be delivered in an emergency delivery. If a doctor or a member of the hospital staff fails to do so, and if a child sustains injuries as a result, they may all be liable for the resultant damages.
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Compensation in Erb’s Palsy Cases
If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy that was caused by medical negligence, you can file a claim for many different damages, including all of the following:
- The cost of treatments such as physical, occupational, and/or emotional therapy
- The costs of doctor follow-ups
- Medical equipment or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or body braces
- Lost earnings from time spent away from work caring for your child
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
If your child or that of a loved one suffers from Erb’s palsy, we can help you seek compensation for your losses. Depending on how severe your child’s injuries are and how the injuries were caused, you can seek the damages above, and in some cases, your case may be able to seek punitive damages against an at-fault medical practitioner who was either found to be grossly negligent or did not meet the duty of care when delivering your child.
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How the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Can Help
If negligence or medical malpractice caused, contributed to, or worsened your child’s birth injury, we are here to help. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free, private, no-obligation case evaluation by one of our experienced medical malpractice and birth injury experts. We can significantly improve the outcome of your case thanks to our extensive knowledge of the intricacies of medical malpractice laws, our experience litigating and negotiating birth injury cases, and our network of lawyers and doctors that can help you get the guidance and care you need when you need it. This can be the difference between securing your child’s long-term future and facing mounting medical bills on your own. To learn more, call now.