Erb’s palsy prevents a baby from moving their arm and may lead to lasting problems with motor function and sensation even as the child grows up. For these children who have lasting symptoms, the nerve damage suffered during birth can become a lifelong disability.
With physical and occupational therapy, most children with lasting nerve damage from Erb’s palsy learn how to manage a wide range of self-care tasks and activities of daily living. They do not frequently have major impairments that prevent them from living independently, although their ability to participate in some activities may be affected.
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Babies with Erb’s Palsy Generally Do Not Have Full Use of the Affected Arm
While Erb’s palsy often gets better on its own, babies with the condition generally have little use of the affected shoulder and upper arm while it heals. Most children who recover fully without intervention do so within the first two years. If there is a delay in healing, this could delay the development of some motor skills that require bringing both hands together or using both arms.
In cases where the baby does not fully regain the proper range of motion or motor control, they may require therapy to help them discover ways to work around the impairment to achieve tasks such as getting dressed and self-feeding. Children are often very adaptable, and the outcome of this type of therapy is generally good. Still, the child may struggle with some tasks their peers find easy.
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Serious Brachial Plexus Injury May Require Surgery
Doctors will monitor your child’s recovery from their Erb’s palsy nerve injury very closely. They hope to see healing begin in the first few weeks of life and significant improvement within a few months, even though full recovery may take as long as two years. If the doctor does not note satisfactory progress, they may recommend a surgical repair.
If your child requires a surgical repair of their damaged nerves, they will likely have a temporary or permanent disability related to their birth injury. Nerve surgery is unlikely to restore the normal functioning of the nerve, although it can help significantly.
Following surgery, it could take years for the nerve graft or transplant to heal and begin working. You will not know how severe your child’s disability will be until the nerve heals, and they regain some movement and sensation. During this time, your child will likely require physical therapy and rehabilitation to help them build and maintain strength and range of motion.
You May be Able to Take Legal Action Based on Your Child’s Erb’s Palsy Disability
If your child suffered a birth injury and underwent treatment or has lasting impairments, you may have a legal right to hold the doctor or hospital liable. You may be able to recover compensation to help pay for medical bills, therapy, assistive equipment, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
While recovering a payout will not make your child’s disability go away, it can give you the resources necessary to make it easier for them to live with it and maintain a high quality of life. To learn if your child’s Erb’s palsy diagnosis will support a medical malpractice birth injury claim, you should discuss your case with an attorney who takes on cases like yours.
A birth injury attorney can:
- Review the facts of your case for free
- Help you understand the merits of your case and your rights
- Help you build a case against the doctor or hospital
- Document your damages, including how your child’s disability affects their life
- Meet the criteria for filing a malpractice claim in your state
- File a claim or pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf
- Represent you throughout the process and fight for the payout your family deserves
It is imperative that you reach out to an attorney about your case as quickly as possible. Some states allow you to toll the statute of limitations for birth injury cases, but not all do. The deadline for taking legal action can vary widely from state to state.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Child’s Erb’s Palsy Disability
If your child suffered a brachial plexus birth injury such as Erb’s palsy, you may have grounds to take legal action against the doctor who delivered them or the hospital where they were born. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to get started.