If your doctor applies too much force to your baby’s head during delivery, it could result in Erb’s Palsy, a birth injury. This kind of injury, which affects nerves, could interfere with your baby’s hand and arm movement.
If your doctor has contributed to your baby’s diagnosis of Erb’s Palsy, you should speak with an attorney. Your attorney might be able to help you prepare a birth injury claim to seek compensation for your child’s medical expenses.
Doctor’s Negligence Can Lead to Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy can occur if your baby is too large to easily exit the birth canal. If your baby’s shoulder gets stuck, which is called shoulder dystocia, your doctor might pull the child too forcefully, stretching and injuring the nerves between that shoulder and the neck.
Those nerves, called the brachial plexus, allow your baby to move fingers, the hand and arm. If the nerves are mildly injured, your child might regain movement after a few months. However, if the injury is severe and nerves are torn or ruptured, as is the case 20% of the time, your baby may suffer permanent paralysis of the shoulder and arm.
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Although mild cases of Erb’s Palsy will heal on their own, your baby should undergo physical therapy to keep the arm from stiffening. Gentle massage techniques and range of motion exercises can keep muscles strong and prevent joint contractures.
In cases of more extensive nerve damage, surgery might be required. In some cases, tendon transplants might be necessary to help the nerves function properly. This option would have to be delayed until your baby is between and 3 and 6 months of age.
Even after surgery, the healing period for Erb’s Palsy could last longer than 2 years. In some instances, the affected arm will continue to be weak and the range of motion will always be limited.
Your medical team has a duty to ensure you and your baby are provided a certain standard of care. When your medical team breaches this duty and your child suffers Erb’s Palsy as a result, you can hold the entire team liable in a birth injury claim.
Your attorney will investigate your case, determine all parties that should be held accountable, and help you take steps toward seeking damages.
Contacting a Birth Injury Attorney
After a birth injury, you should be able to spend your time focusing on your child’s recovery, not dealing with insurance adjusters, never-ending paperwork and complicated legalese. Davis Levin Livingston will fight for your rights while you focus on your child’s healing.
Schedule a free consultation with an Erb's palsy attorney at Davis Levin Livingston by calling (808) 740-0633.