Erb’s palsy is a condition that is almost always caused by medical negligence during the delivery of a baby. If a baby’s shoulders are stuck during delivery, the force of birth can cause damage to the nerves in the upper arm. Erb’s palsy can be prevented if a doctor acts quickly and responds with proper treatment. If they don’t, the family may need to pay for expensive surgeries to correct the effects of the doctor’s negligence.
At LawMD, our Erb’s palsy attorneys in Washington, D.C. can help you file a claim against the doctor and hospital that caused your child’s birth injury. We will represent you so your baby can get the treatment they need to heal.
Erb’s palsy is a type of birth injury that is marked by nerve damage and paralysis in a baby’s upper arm, particularly the brachial plexus network of nerves. The condition can heal on its own or may require treatment to address.
If your baby is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, they may be signs of Erb’s palsy:
Erb’s palsy is caused by negligence during the birth of the affected child. Specifically, Erb’s palsy results from pulling or stretching during birth that causes the baby’s arm and shoulder area to be strained, causing nerve damage. This includes shoulder dystocia in which the baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal and contribute to a difficult delivery.
The angle at which a baby is delivered, the size of the infant and mother, and long or difficult labor are all factors that can contribute to the development of Erb’s palsy. However, any baby can be at risk for Erb’s palsy if they are delivered by a negligent doctor that is forceful or misuses tools during the birth. In many cases, Erb’s palsy occurs when a baby is delivered at an unideal angle or in a breech birth (feet first) or when the delivering doctor uses excessive force and pulls on the shoulders. Using forceps of vacuum extraction tools during birth can also cause Erb’s palsy.
The root cause of all of these issues is negligence. Doctors who deliver babies must know to proceed delicately and be able to respond to situations in which the baby is at an awkward angle during birth. If using tools to aid in the delivery, they must do so cautiously. Our Erb’s palsy attorneys in Washington, D.C. can recognize this negligence and hold attending doctors, nurses, and their employers accountable.
The severity of Erb’s palsy can range from mild to serious. In mild cases, the injury may heal on its own as the baby grows and develops.
More severe cases are treatable with the help of complex surgical procedures and other methods. Nerve and tendon transfers are common methods of treatment, as well as surgery on the affected muscles. These procedures may be performed shortly after a baby is born, but Erb’s palsy can also be treated once a child is older. It is possible that a child will continue to experience discomfort and sensitivity following treatment for Erb’s palsy, which can alleviate as the child develops.
Treatment for Erb’s palsy can be very costly. Our physician-attorneys are committed to helping your family recover compensation to cover the costs of those treatments and hold negligent doctors accountable. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.