Erb’s Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice. Erb’s Palsy is a disorder that is often caused by an injury to an infant during birth. Many cases of Erb’s Palsy are the result of an error made by a medical practitioner, such as the delivering physician. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical practitioner causes an injury to a patient by doing something that failed to meet the standard of care for professionals in their field. In these cases, injured patients have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. It is essential for families impacted by Erb’s Palsy to contact an experienced attorney to determine if they have a claim for medical malpractice against the delivering physician.
Erb’s Palsy Symptoms
Infants that suffer from Erb’s Palsy will typically exhibit weakness or sometimes even full paralysis in their arm. The impairment can impact the upper arm or extend to the lower arm and sometimes to the hand. In some cases, the infant’s eyelid on the opposite side of the affected arm will droop. Infants with Erb’s Palsy may not exhibit the Moro reflex (which is a healthy reaction in baby’s when they are startled) on the impacted side.
What causes Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is the result of damage to the nerves near the brachial plexus. This group of nerves is responsible for movement and feeling in the arm, hand, and fingers. Sometimes during a difficult delivery, a baby can suffer damage to the brachial nerves. This can occur if the baby’s neck is pulled to far too one side if the shoulders are pulled on too hard, and when the arms are under too much pressure, which often occurs in breech birth. The risk of these complications increases due to an overly large baby because the shoulders are more likely to be caught on the mother’s pelvic bones causing a complication referred to as shoulder dystocia. Women with gestational diabetes and short women have a higher risk of these problems during birth. The use of forceps and vacuum extractors also create a larger risk of Erb’s Palsy.
A doctor can be responsible for Erb’s palsy. Improper use of vacuums or forceps, and pulling too hard can all cause the condition. Sometimes a physician might not have monitored the fetus’ size, leading to a baby being delivered vaginally when a C-section should have been performed to avoid the risks of delivering a very large baby.
In cases where the nerves were stretched, the damage might heal within six months to one year. In more severe cases, scar tissue may form around the nerves causing long-term difficulties with the infant’s use of the arm. There are more serious cases as well, where rather than stretching, the nerves are separated from the spinal cord.
In less severe instances, treatment might include stretches and massage. In other situations, surgery might be required to repair the damaged nerve. In some cases, the patient might receive a nerve transplant.
Free Case Erb’s Palsy Legal Claim Review
If your family has been impacted by Erb’s Palsy, it is essential to understand your rights and to determine if you are entitled to compensation as a result of the injuries that were caused. Contact Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
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