Erb’s palsy is a serious medical disorder that can develop when a bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus sustains damage. It often occurs in babies during the mother’s labor or during delivery. Since the brachial plexus controls the shoulder and arms, Erb’s palsy can result in weakness, a lack of sensation, and sometimes even paralysis in part or all of the arm. Many infants who sustain brachial plexus damage and suffer from Erb’s palsy, as a result, recover over time, but if the damage is severe enough, they may face long-term complications even if they receive treatment for the condition.
If your child has Erb’s palsy or suffered a birth injury, we are here to help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group understands and specializes in medical malpractice, and we know how illnesses such as Erb’s palsy can result from the mismanagement of delivery cases. We also know that the long-term costs faced by the family and the disabilities faced by the child are unfair, and we are here to help. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 222-9529 to discuss the specifics of your case and to determine whether or not you have grounds to seek compensation.
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Erb’s Palsy: What Is it?
Erb’s palsy is a neurological disorder. This means it pertains to the nerves and muscles. It is a type of illness that develops when the brachial plexus, which is a major nerve system that runs from the spinal cord all the way through the neck and into the arm, sustains damage. In children, the source of this damage is usually stretching or tearing that occurs as a baby makes its way through the birth canal. If a baby’s head, neck, or shoulder are stretched during delivery, either by becoming stuck in the birth canal or by being pulled on by a member of the delivery team, Erb’s palsy can develop.
The risk factors for this type of injury include having an abnormally large baby, having prolonged or challenging labor, and delivering a baby feet-first or bottom-first. Since the brachial plexus controls movement and sensation in the arm, damage to these nerves can lead to a loss of sensation, motor control issues, and abnormal growth of the arm.
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Complications and Long-Term Outlook
Most babies born with a brachial plexus injury recover and the outlook of this type of disability is good. Childbirth is a traumatic event in and of itself, so minor injuries from stretching, squeezing, or twisting of the baby as it makes its way into the world is somewhat to be expected. However, in cases of severe damage, a baby may suffer from long-term or even permanent disabilities. This is common when the baby’s nerves are stretched far enough to tear. They may even become entirely severed from the spinal cord, leading to extreme pain and serious complications. These types of injuries usually require surgery and may not completely heal, and they often occur if the delivery team applies too much pressure on the baby to deliver it or if a member of the delivery team incorrectly uses assistive devices such as forceps or a vacuum extractor to forcefully remove the baby from the mother.
Children who suffer permanent Erb’s palsy damage can be faced with limited sensation, limited movement, and sometimes complete paralysis in their affected arm. Expensive and sometimes invasive treatments may also be needed, along with therapy, specialized care, the help of assistive devices, and round-the-clock monitoring. Many children do overcome these challenges, but they still face bigger challenges and higher health care expenses than children who are born healthy.
Medical malpractice is not the only cause of Erb’s palsy. Damage to the brachial plexus can happen in many ways, even after a child is born. For example, a car accident, sustaining an injury during physical activities, and child abuse can all lead to damage to the brachial plexus. However, brachial plexus injuries are often seen in delivery cases and are the result of a medical professional’s negligence. An Erb’s palsy injury lawyer can help you determine whether or not this is the case and if negligence played any part in causing your child’s injuries.
Doing this will involve interviewing the medical team responsible for delivering your child, gathering medical records of the mother and child, and speaking with medical professionals to ascertain whether or not certain diagnostic tests or medical procedures could have been performed to help avoid injury and risk to the mother and child. If the team responsible for delivering your child came up short in performing their duties in any way and your child sustained injures as a result, the delivery team can be held at fault for those injuries.
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Settlements and Compensation
If your child suffered a birth injury that was caused by malpractice, you likely have grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim. You have the right to seek monetary compensation that can help you provide for your child’s treatment and can be used to support him or her for the rest of his or her life. Give us a call at (800) 222-9529 for the best chance of winning the compensation you deserve. We will negotiate with the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries toward a full and fair settlement for you. We are prepared to take your case to trial as well if needed.
The settlement amount or compensation payout that will be arrived at depends on many factors, including the extent of the damage your child suffered, the nature of the injuries sustained, the amount of therapy and/or long-term care your child may need to live a normal life, and any additional evidence we can find against the negligent doctor or delivery team member responsible for malpractice.
Your compensation award will also take into consideration medical expenses, therapy costs, rehabilitation equipment, and any lost wages that result from missing work while you care for your injured child. Your child may have to live with a certain level of pain and even various disabilities as long as he or she lives, so fighting for the compensation you deserve is of the utmost importance. Call now at (800) 222-9529 so we can help you initiate the process of doing so.