Erb’s palsy, also known as a brachial plexus injury, affects roughly 3 out of every 1,000 infants born every year in the United States. It occurs when the nerves in spinal roots between C5 and C7 become stretched, injured, or completely severed from the spine, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis in the arm.
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, we are here to help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group specializes in assisting the families of injured infants and newborns recover the damages they deserve, find the care and assistance they need, and plan out a rehabilitation program for their injured loved one so that they can live a full and independent life. To learn more about the work we do, how we can help, and how to initiate a claim, call now at (800) 222-9529.
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Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy and brachial plexus injuries can be caused by numerous factors. The most common causes are as follows:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Physical activity accidents
- Child abuse
- Bullet or knife wounds
- Birth-related injuries
- Medical negligence and/or malpractice
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Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
A child’s brachial plexus injury symptoms can manifest in different ways, all depending on the severity of the injury. Where along the spine that damage occurred will also affect which symptoms appear, and with how much severity. In mild cases, Erb’s palsy symptoms include a burning sensation that shoots down the arm, numbness and/or weakness in the arm, and an inability to move the arm, shoulders, wrists, or fingers in certain ways.
In severe cases, Erb’s palsy may result in the following:
- An inability to control the shoulder muscles or the elbows while maintaining control of the fingers
- An inability to use the fingers in certain ways despite having proper control of and sensation in the shoulder, elbow, and arm
- A complete inability to use or feel the arm
- Excruciating pain
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Mild cases of Erb’s palsy usually heal on their own. In more serious cases, however, the patient may require long-term physical therapy, occupational therapy to develop control of the arm, fingers, or shoulder, and muscle strengthening exercises to combat muscle degeneration and atrophy that results from the arm not being used frequently or regularly.
In severe cases, a nerve graft or a nerve transfer may be needed. These are expensive and very invasive surgical procedures. Tests, including MRIs, CT scans, EEGs, and an electrical nerve stimulation test, commonly referred to as TENS, may also be required. Medications may also be prescribed, and some of the therapies outlined above may be performed at home while others will be performed with a licensed specialist in a healthcare facility.
To better understand your treatment options, here are additional details on the types of treatment Erb’s palsy patients often need to undergo.
This is a treatment that uses an anti-gravity environment to lower the stress exerted on the skeleton and muscles of the injured individual. It allows the baby to move with less pain and also strengthens his or her muscles. It also reduces the occurrence of spasms.
The responses to physiotherapy vary from person to person. Some heal earlier than others, and some require longer or more strenuous physiotherapy sessions. Physiotherapy is often required in severe cases that require surgery. It can also be required for mild cases that require additional help to strengthen and heal affected areas. Exercises that make up common physiotherapy regimens include strength-building exercises, range of motion exercises, stretching exercises, and sensory stimulation activities.
Occupational therapy is sometimes required after surgery in order to help patients learn to perform simple activities such as eating, tying their shoes, grasping objects, and writing.
Surgical procedures are the last resort for Erb’s palsy patients but are often required when the injuries sustained by the patient are very severe, or in cases in which the patient does not improve in any measurable way from other forms of therapy. Surgeries to help Erb’s palsy patients can include nerve grafts to replace damaged nerves with functioning nerves, nerve decompression operations to relieve pressure on nerves that are ‘pinched’ by scar tissue, and muscle transplant procedures to aid in supplying nourishment to areas of the arms or shoulders that suffered damage either in an accident or in a birth-related emergency.
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Do I Need a Lawyer?
If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy caused by medical negligence, or if your child has received a negative diagnosis and you are not sure what to do, give us a call at (800) 222-9529. We will help you as follows:
- We will build the strongest case possible for you so that you have the highest chances possible of winning the compensation you deserve.
- We will collect evidence to support your claim – This includes interviews with the medical team responsible for your child’s delivery, as well as the testimony of legal and medical malpractice professionals.
- We will help you quantify the costs associated with treatment for your child, as well as indirect costs you suffer, such as lost earnings from an inability to work while you tend to your injured child.
- We will ensure you file the right paperwork with the right agencies and meet all regulatory, administrative, and legal deadlines so that your case and claim meet all statutory guidelines before being presented to the court for a decision.
If you know that negligence or medical malpractice caused your child’s Erb’s palsy, or if you simply received an injury diagnosis but are unsure about what happened, give us a call today at (800) 222-9529. A medical malpractice expert at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you ascertain how and why your child sustained a birth-related injury, what the prognosis of his or her injuries is, how and where to find the treatment and care you need, and how strong a case for medical negligence compensation you have. We handle all of our cases on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless you win compensation. You have nothing to lose and only potential compensation for financial losses to gain, so call now.