Erb’s palsy is a condition of the arm that occurs when the brachial plexus, which is a system of nerves that connects the shoulder to the spine, sustains damage or injury. Erb’s palsy commonly occurs during birth as a result of the baby’s size (if the baby is too large, it may become stuck in the birth canal), because the baby was pulled on, or as a result of the incorrect use of assistive devices such as forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery.
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy or a brachial nexus injury, we can help. We connect families with doctors, medical practitioners, and legal experts so that they can understand their rights and responsibilities, come up with a care plan for their child, undergo treatments needed to help the injured child recover, and seek compensation for damages that were caused by medical negligence during the delivery or soon after the delivery of the baby. Call us now at (800) 222-9529.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Diagnosing Erb’s Palsy
About two out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States suffers from Erb’s palsy. It often occurs when a baby’s neck, head, or shoulders are stretched too far to one side or the other during delivery. This can happen with birth complications or if a member of the delivery team pushes the baby in a certain direction in an attempt to deliver the baby.
A summary of the causes of birth-related Erb’s palsy is as follows:
- If a baby’s head and neck are pulled or pushed sideways as the baby passes through the birth canal, his or her nerves may sustain damage or may become torn.
- If a baby’s head emerges whilst the shoulders are stuck behind it, the neck can become stretched, resulting in varying degrees of damage or injury.
- If the baby’s shoulders become unnaturally stretched as he or she passes through the birth canal due to the baby’s size, bone, muscle, or nerve damage may be sustained.
- If during a feet-first or breech delivery, the baby’s arms are raised, pressed, or twisted inside the birth canal, or if a member of the delivery team moves these parts of the bodies forcefully in any way, nerve damage may occur.
The skills and experience of a doctor, nurse, or another caregiver responsible for assisting during delivery can cause, contribute to, or aggravate damage to the brachial plexus, leading to a wide range of symptoms and issues for the injured child. Some of these symptoms may be short-term and can heal on their own, but others may be long-term or permanent.
Some of the more common tell-tale signs and symptoms of Erb’s palsy are as follows:
- Weakness or paralysis in the affected arm
- Muscle loss in the shoulder or the affected arm
- An inability to move the arm, the wrist, the hand, or the fingers in certain ways
- A loss of sensation
- Tingling in the hand or fingers
- Pain (throbbing or burning pain) in certain parts of the affected limb
Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained during delivery, your child may require different forms of treatment. Common treatments for Erb’s palsy include physiotherapy to improve muscle strength and range-of-motion, occupational therapy to help the patient move and control his or her limbs in specific ways, and potentially surgery to treat torn or detached nerves. Surgery is always an option of last resort but may be needed if the other treatment options available to the patient do not lead to quantifiable improvements.
Kansas City Erb's Palsy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Seeking Legal Assistance
In many cases, Erb’s palsy is a preventable injury. You should not have to pay for your child’s treatment yourself if the injuries that your child sustained were a result of the negligence of the medical staff responsible for delivering your baby. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 to learn how to file a case, what evidence will be needed to support your claim, and to conduct an investigation of the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth.
We help all of our clients in the following ways:
- We gather relevant documents, such as medical records, the professional records of medical staff, and patient histories to present to the court.
- We identify key witnesses, interview them, and use the testimony of malpractice experts to support your case.
- We quantify the value of your claim by tallying all of the costs you have suffered directly or indirectly as a result of your child’s condition.
- We ensure you meet all administrative, legal, and procedural deadlines and that you file on time, within the defined statutes of limitation, with the right courts.
Medical Negligence and the Duty of Care
Health professionals are expected to be skilled, well-trained, and knowledgeable. They must strive to take all necessary precautions whenever faced with difficult or unexpected delivery circumstances. These professionals are also responsible for taking preemptive steps to avoid risks and injury to the mother and her baby, take appropriate steps to ensure the baby is safe and healthy during and after delivery and advise the mother with regards to appropriate prenatal care. They are also responsible for screening the mother and baby for infections or other issues that may cause or lead to a birth complication.
Doing all of the above is known as the duty of care – it is everything a reasonably competent medical practitioner would have done under similar circumstances. Not performing an important action (or improperly performing one, or altogether neglecting to perform an important action) can be grounds for medical negligence and the at-fault doctor or health care provider may be held liable for all damages that result from that action or inaction.
If your child or that of a loved one suffers from a disability, has missed key growth milestones, or has trouble using their arms or hands, they may suffer from Erb’s palsy. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to investigate the cause of the illness, why it was not diagnosed, how severe it is, and what next steps you should take in the event that the child does indeed have Erb’s palsy.