There are several stages that a baby goes through before birth. Any disruptions in this natural cycle can result in injury. One common form of birth injury is nerve damage, especially damage to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that control the shoulder, arm, hands, and fingers. Damage to the brachial plexus can result in Erb’s palsy, which is characterized by weakness, poor muscle tone, and an inability to move all or part of the arm in certain ways.
Nerve damage during birth can occur in many ways. If a baby’s head or neck is pulled or pushed too much one way or another during an emergency delivery, if a baby’s shoulders get stuck on the mother’s pelvis, or if the baby is delivered feet-first or bottom-first, nerve damage leading to Erb’s palsy may result.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families in Charlotte deal with such cases. Our Charlotte Erb’s palsy lawyers are here to guide you with respect to your legal options if your child’s injuries were the result of medical negligence. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a no-obligation consultation with an experienced birth injury attorney.
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Symptoms and Risk Factors of Erb’s Palsy
Common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include the following:
- Weakness, paralysis, or a partial loss of sensation in the affected arm.
- An inability to move the shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, or fingers in specific ways.
- Pain or tingling in the arm, hand, or fingers.
- Poor muscle tone in the shoulder or the affected arm.
There are a number of known risk factors that can increase the likelihood of a baby sustaining nerve injuries during birth. These include:
- Large infants may press against or become stuck in the birth canal, causing undue pressure and stretching of the baby’s delicate nerves.
- C-section cases have a higher incidence rate of nerve damage than natural deliveries.
- The skills and experience of the delivery team can cause or aggravate nerve damage and lead to Erb’s palsy, especially if the delivery team does not have the requisite skills to use certain delivery tools or devices.
If your child received a diagnosis of Erb’s palsy or exhibits any of the symptoms outlined above, give us a call. We will help you investigate the cause of your child’s illness, look into how it occurred, determine how severe the case may be, and ascertain whether or not negligence on the part of your child’s doctor or the delivery team caused or contributed to your child’s injuries.
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The Duty of Care
We expect doctors, nurses, and other medical care staff to be skilled, well-trained, and knowledgeable in their specific fields. The general public expects these professionals to take all necessary precautions and perform procedures with the competence and in the medically accepted fashion to limit or reduce potential harm to their patients. Not doing so may be tantamount to negligence.
Even if your child’s delivery team faced difficult or unexpected delivery circumstances, they are expected to take preemptive steps to avoid the risk of injury to the mother and her baby. This includes screening the mother and the baby for infections and any other issues that may result in an emergency procedure or a complication, such as breech birth, blood incompatibilities between the mother and the baby, and neonatal illnesses such as jaundice or meningitis.
If it can be proven that your child’s Erb’s palsy was preventable and that the actions—or the inaction—of the delivery team led to your child’s injuries, you may have grounds for a malpractice claim. To learn about how to file a case and to learn more about the kinds of evidence that are needed to prove your claim, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.
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Types of Compensation in an Erb’s Palsy Claim
Mild cases of Erb’s palsy sometimes heal on their own over time. More severe cases, however, may require long term therapy or even surgery. It all depends on where and how the brachial plexus sustained damage, the response of your child to medical treatment, and how quickly rehabilitative procedures are initiated.
In general, the damages that you may be able to seek compensation for include the following:
- Doctor’s visits, medications, and assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, arm braces, or leg braces.
- Therapy and payments made to counselors or trainers.
- Lost income as a result of missing work while caring for your injured or disabled child.
The costs of these treatments can quickly add up. If your child’s doctor caused, contributed to, or aggravated your child’s injuries, you should seek compensation for them. This is especially true for cases that require long term therapy or surgery, such as when nerves become severed or completely detached from their roots in the spinal cord. Beyond the pain of such injuries, your child may permanently suffer extensive impairment in his or her ability to use their affected arm, causing a ripple effect of issues, such as emotional trauma, social stigma, and lost opportunities in life.
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Regardless of how your child sustained his or her injuries and whatever expenses, bills, care issues, or insurance challenges you may face as a result, we can help. The Charlotte Erb’s palsy lawyers from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group work closely with patients, their families, caregivers, insurance companies, and the local court system to ensure that you and your family have access to the treatment, care, and support you need in this trying time.
If your child suffered a birth injury of any type or if you believe he or she developed Erb’s palsy because of the actions of the delivery team, our Charlotte Erb’s palsy lawyers will help you investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s delivery. Doing this will involve interviewing the delivery team, the team responsible for caring for the mother and the child after birth, attempting to identify whether or not a breach in the duty of care occurred, and quantifying any damages you may be entitled to receive. Call now at (800) 222-9529.
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