Erb’s palsy is an injury to the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves around the neck and upper arms. Although some cases resolve themselves through rehabilitation and medical intervention, the condition can lead to permanent mobility issues. The condition can happen naturally in some cases, but Erb’s palsy is sometimes caused by negligent medical practices surrounding a newborn’s delivery, either during the birth itself or through failed preventative measures before the delivery got underway. For example, if a child’s arm is caught behind the mother’s pelvis during labor in a condition known as shoulder dystocia, and the doctor attempts to use forceps to free him or her, this could result in nerve stretching or tearing.
This condition happens in one to two of every 1,000 live births in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). While the severity of the injury depends on the extent of the damage done to the nerves, there is no excuse for causing a baby to have to endure this birth injury. If you believe this type of injury happened to your loved one due to a case of medical malpractice in Texas, a Texas Erb’s palsy lawyer can take your case and help you build evidence to prove that the negligent parties should be held accountable for your overall pain and suffering.
The team from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group believes victims should not be ignored if they have had to undergo a traumatic event due to a professional’s medical malpractice. We have represented birth injury cases all over the country, and can help victims pursue compensation they may be entitled to.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review and consultation to help you better understand your legal options.
For a free legal consultation with Texas Erb's Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy in Newborns
Erb’s palsy is generally recognized through the infant displaying trouble moving their upper body, including extremities like the hands and fingers. These symptoms may first appear as the baby’s natural inability to turn itself over or grip objects while developing and learning how to move. As they get older, the guardians of the child may realize that the child is skipping important developmental milestones, suggesting that something may be wrong with the child.
Common symptoms of Erb’s palsy in newborns and toddlers can include, but are not limited to:
- Inability to feel pain in the arm, shoulder, or hands
- One arm growing differently than the other, or appearing weaker
- Trouble moving the affected side of their body, including a limited range of motion
- Trouble holding objects that babies would typically be able to grip
- The arm or hand hanging loose by the baby’s side
In these cases, it is important that the guardians get the child examined and diagnosed by medical professionals as soon as potential symptoms are recognized. Erb’s palsy that goes untreated for anywhere from 18 to 24 months can become permanent according to 2019 research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). These symptoms may also have an effect on the child’s mental health, although this nerve damage does not generally result in brain damage. If the child undergoes more stresses and hardships at a young age, it can affect everything their self-esteem, their trust of others, or their social skills.
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Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Some cases of Erb’s palsy can go away without any serious medical treatment. However, the parent should always seek the guidance of a specialist so they know the extent of the child’s condition. Doing so can also serve as important documentation if the family chooses to take legal action against potentially liable parties. Treatments may involve invasive procedures, as well as simple rehabilitation practices.
Treatments for Erb’s Palsy, as documented by the NCBI, can include:
- Physiotherapy: examples of this therapy include physical activities to heal the affected region, such as strengthening workouts and stretching exercises.
- Hydrotherapy: this therapy utilizes an anti-gravity environment to attempt to alleviate the sufferer’s pain, while simultaneously stopping spasms and strengthening the muscles. Hydrotherapy is intended to help stimulate a normal range of motion in the damaged region.
- Surgery: this is considered to be the last resort in serious cases of Erb’s palsy. Typically, the medical team will try to graft nerves from other parts of the body into the affected region, or otherwise repair them.
- Occupational therapy: this therapy normally comes after surgery, or in the event of more serious cases of potentially permanent damage. This therapy is meant to help the child learn to navigate their daily life through activities such as eating or tying their shoes.
As with all medical treatments, these procedures may lead to mounting medical bills, which can be especially hard to tackle if you are taking time off work to bring your child to medical professionals. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our team believes victims should not have their financial wellbeing ruined due to the hardships caused by negligent medical staff. We can help you and your family fight for compensation you may be entitled to go back to a normal way of life.
To learn more about what a Texas Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to do to help, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.
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Erb’s Palsy Birth Injury Lawyers Serving Texas
In accordance with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 and Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.251, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury and medical malpractice claims in the state. If you retain the services of a Texas Erb’s palsy lawyer before that deadline, they can help you start to work on the legal proceedings while you work toward recovery.
For more information about the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, contact a representative for a free consultation and case review at (800) 222-9529.