Erb’s palsy is a medical condition that affects roughly 3 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States. It can develop when nerves between vertebrae C5 and C7 become stretched, injured, or completely severed from the spine. It can lead to varying degrees of paralysis in the arm, as well as weakness, muscle atrophy, a loss of fine motor skills, and difficulty walking.
Has your child been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy? If yes, we are here to help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group specializes in assisting the families of injured infants and newborns. We will help you file a claim to recover the damages you deserve, find the care and assistance your child needs, and plan out a rehabilitation program for your child so that he or she can live a full and independent life. To learn more about the work we do, how we help, and how to file a claim, call us now at (800) 222-9529.
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Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is caused by injury to the brachial plexus, a system of nerves in the neck. These nerves run from the spine and through the neck all the way to the shoulder. Injury to this nerve system can be caused in many ways, including all of the following:
- 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
The symptoms of a brachial plexus injury can manifest in different ways. Where along the spine an injury occurred, the type of injury that was sustained, and the severity of the injury all determine the symptoms that the injured individual will exhibit. Mild cases can result in 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.
Severe cases of Erb’s palsy may result in:
- An inability to control the shoulder muscles or move the elbows
- An inability to control the fingers or perform certain actions, such as gripping a pencil
- An inability to use the fingers in certain ways such as snapping or pointing
- A complete inability to use or feel the arm
- Severe pain
Treating Erb’s Palsy
Mild cases of Erb’s palsy in which the nerves have sustained only superficial damage usually heal on their own. Treatment of serious cases of Erb’s palsy may require long-term physical therapy to improve motor skills and strength, occupational therapy to learn life-skills, and hydrotherapy to help the patient recover in a zero-gravity environment that allows them to move with less stress and pain.
The patient may even require a nerve graft or a nerve transfer, which are surgical procedures that can be prohibitively expensive. The same goes for diagnostic tests such as MRIs, CT scans, and EEGs, all of which are used to identify and pinpoint the cause, source, and location of nerve damage that leads to Erb’s palsy and its attendant symptoms.
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An Erb’s palsy injury lawyer can help you determine whether or not medical negligence caused your child’s injuries because a brachial plexus injury can occur in many different ways.
Consider the following. If your child was abnormally large or moved within the womb in such a way that he or she was going to be delivered feet-first, your child’s doctor should have taken appropriate steps to ensure that an emergency C-section, if needed, was performed. C-sections are typically used to avoid the kinds of injuries that can occur during long and complicated labors. Failing to do so is equivalent to negligence.
Medical negligence can also be proven if your doctor used too much force to deliver your baby. The doctor or another member of the delivery team may rush to deliver the baby as quickly as possible when faced with a delivery complication. Pulling the baby out in these situations may get it through the birth canal, but doing so with too much force can stretch the nerves of the baby, leading to Erb’s palsy. The incorrect use of assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors can also lead to damage that was avoidable, but your child will now have to live with those damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy caused by medical negligence, or if your child received a diagnosis of a birth injury and you are not sure what to do, give us a call at (800) 222-9529. We will help you in the following ways:
- We will collect the evidence needed to support your claim, including interviews with the medical team responsible for your child’s delivery, the testimony of legal and medical malpractice professionals, and medical records of the mother’s pregnancy.
- We will help you identify and then quantify all costs and damages associated with your child’s condition, such as the costs of treatment, medicines, checkups, and diagnostic tests, 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, at the right time, and that you are able to meet all regulatory, administrative, and legal deadlines so that your case and claim will stand up in court if your case goes to trial.
If negligence or medical malpractice caused your child’s Erb’s palsy, or if you received a birth injury diagnosis but are unsure about what happened, call us today at (800) 222-9529. A medical malpractice expert at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group will help you ascertain how and why your child sustained a birth-related injury, what the long-term outlook of his or her injuries is, how and where you can find the treatment and care you need, and how strong a case for malpractice you have. We handle all of our cases on a contingency-fee-basis. This means you pay nothing unless you win compensation or a settlement from the at-fault parties identified in your claim, so call today.