Your child’s birth should be a joyful occasion. However, difficulties might occur because labor is not always simple. Although medical professionals are trained to handle emergencies, leaps of judgment; medical mistakes, and medical malpractice may happen in the delivery room, resulting in a child’s birth injury.
Our professional team of Erb’s Palsy lawyers comes in to let justice prevail. Our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and skills to assist your child in obtaining the compensation they are entitled to; and to receive the proper care and assistance for their condition.
To find out more, or for a confidential and free case evaluation with our experienced Erb’s Palsy attorneys , you may read this article, explore our sub menu toggle and get answers from Erb’s Palsy attorney FAQs.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Not to be confused with cerebral palsy, which is brain-related- Erb’s palsy or Erb-duchenne palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, is where there is severing of the upper trunk C5-C6 nerves which form part of the brachial plexus, according to medical professionals. A simple definition is that it is the paralysis of the arm, caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerve.
The brachial plexus injury is usually caused during childbirth when a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck after their head is delivered. This is known as Shoulder Dystocia. As a result, child’s Erb’s Palsy may occur.
Erb’s palsy at birth may prevent babies from moving their shoulders, but they may be capable of moving their fingers. However, total or global brachial plexus child’s birth injury is the term used when both the upper and lower trunk nerves are strained and injured.
There are 4 types of nerve injuries which are:-
This is a stretch injury which shocks but does not tear the nerve and is the most common type.
A stretch injury that damages some of the nerve fibres and may result in scar tissue.
A stretch injury which causes the nerve to be torn apart and will not heal on its own.
This happens when the nerve is torn from the spinal cord.
Nerve eruptions and avulsion are the most serious type of nerve injury and may result in the need for a nerve graft from another nerve to restore function.
Is Erb’s Palsy a disability?
Yes, just like the more commonly known cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy can become a disability. The condition may be categorized as a disability depending on how severe the impact is on the arms, neck, shoulders, nerves and muscles. However, the impairment is not brought on by any sickness or birth abnormality. In actuality, it’s typically brought on by excessive force on the body by negligent medical professionals when delivering babies. This pressure can cause birth injury to the delicate brachial plexus nerves.
Specifically, lots of pulling, twisting, turning and tugging of an infant’s head and neck during delivery results in a child’s injuries. Further if the medical team pulls improperly, this increases the risk of birth injuries.
Mothers with narrow pelvises have higher risk factors of having their fetuses becoming trapped in the birth canal, than mothers with wide pelvises.
It’s therefore crucial to keep track of the fetal size in relation to the width of the birth canal during prenatal care. Proper monitoring may result in professional medical advice to do a Caesarean section as to avoid birth injuries.
In addition, a doctor should be able to determine whether the baby is in the breech position. Medical malpractice through the failure to keep an eye on this could cause Erb’s palsy and the mental strain on the child could lead to cerebral palsy as well.
The infant may need to be delivered very rapidly in the event of an obstetric emergency. This happens if there is fetal distress and the baby is starving of oxygen. The rapid delivery may cause a minor child’s injury at best, and unfortunately, Erb’s palsy damage if the injuries are severe.
In such a scenario of emergency deliveries, the wrong use of birth assistance equipment, such as forceps or vacuum extraction (ventouse), or the execution of unsuitable techniques, may occur. Child’s Erb’s Palsy may then be caused by medical negligence of this magnitude.
If a mother has previously given birth to a child who has experienced shoulder dystocia, such an injury will likely occur more frequently with the following birth. This should lead to a thorough discussion of the delivery method.
Delayed diagnosis makes birth injury treatment less successful than an early diagnosis.
Who treats Erb’s palsy?- Best Practice
Depending on how severe it is, Erb’s Palsy may require therapy. The majority of times, when the child’s shoulders have only minor damage, the affected arm can heal in as little as nine months. In these situations, the injury frequently heals on its own with the passage of time and occasional light use of the injured arm. Physical therapy, the most popular form of child’s treatment of Erb’s Palsy, is advised even in these instances of mild child’s injury to hasten the healing process and improve the likelihood of a full recovery.
Ideally, a licensed physical therapist with expertise in child health and pediatric care should perform your child’s physical therapy sessions. In minor cases, physical therapy will consist of a plan to help the damaged part heal and get stronger. Surgery will also be performed in more serious cases. Your child will first receive physical therapy from your physical therapist, who will then show you how to carry on the exercise program at home.
A physical therapist may also choose to use hydrotherapy, which involves working with your infant on mobility and strength exercises while using water’s anti-gravity properties to assist in relieving stress on the body. This approach might lessen the discomfort of movement and allow your child to develop their strength.
After completing the earliest phases of fundamental physical therapy, and the monitoring of the child’s condition by a professional, you may encourage your infant to engage in typical recreational activities that require arm and shoulder motions.
Your child may receive assistance from a recreational therapist with a number of tasks, including picking up and eating food, climbing, crawling, throwing, finger painting, and swimming.
The purpose of Botox, also known as Botulinum toxin A, is to momentarily paralyze muscles at the injection site. Despite coming from a bacterium, this injection is confined and poses no threat of infection or spreading. This form of therapy can treat Erb’s Palsy by enhancing shoulder flexibility and assisting weaker muscles to develop by temporarily paralyzing functional muscles. Because of this, it only works when combined with the typical stretches and exercises of physical therapy.
This type of therapy is frequently offered or suggested following surgery, when the child’s condition reveals long-term damage. An occupational therapist assists them with daily activities including eating, playing, tying shoes, writing, drawing, and more. Similar to physical therapy, specialist equipment may be required, and parents should be given home programs and directions for continuing treatment at home.
Surgery is frequently necessary in more serious situations to maximize your child’s chance of healing and recovering. Surgery can be required if, after six months, there are still no signs of healing or if your child’s doctor or therapist feels that recovery has been slow. In order to promote natural healing, this operation repairs nerve injury and/or releases pressure on the brachial plexus nerves. Whenever feasible, doctors will try to avoid operating on young patients, but if the
Erb’s Palsy caused severe pain and distress, and there are no other options, they will advise surgery. Sometimes, doctors will advise physical therapy first, and only surgery after exploring alternative options.
There is a chance that some muscle groups may recover more fully than others after a brachial plexus birth injury, which could lead to weakening as a result of imbalance. Your child might require a muscle transfer surgery if the injury is severe, in which a surgeon would transplant stronger muscles and tendons to support weaker ones.
Is Erb’s Palsy Considered Medical Negligence?
Over the past fifteen years, various medical hypotheses and professional viewpoints regarding the connection between birth, treatment of shoulder dystocia, and Erb’s palsy injuries have been debated.
All obstetric brachial plexus injuries, including Erb’s palsy, were previously believed to be brought on by severe traction employed by medical personnel during a challenging shoulder delivery. But more recently, there have been more and more reports that shoulder dystocia can happen even if the baby is not being pulled too tightly.
The literature on the causes of obstetric or child’s brachial plexus damage 1 and Erb’s palsy have had an impact on medical policy and jurisdiction. A framework was suggested to offer direction for those going through the legal process of evaluating problems of the roots of birth injury cases and clinical negligence claims.
The framework includes the following points:-
If an injury is void of shoulder dystocia, it is more likely that the injury was caused by the labor itself than by any medical malpractice made by the medical professional.
At least 30% to 40% of Erb’s palsy injuries affect a baby’s posterior shoulder in labour and this is not considered due to any action by the medical professional. However, medical negligence is more likely to cause anterior shoulder injury. In order to prevent the harm and evaluate any negligence claim, it is necessary for erb’s palsy attorneys to take into account the baby’s arm position.
The legal process by experienced erb’s palsy lawyers
also involves looking into whether excessive traction increased the risk of injury. This is because medical literature suggests that traction imposed on the baby’s head is strongly associated with an Erb’s palsy injury.
All of these and other pertinent variables that may have contributed to or caused the Erb’s palsy injury can be evaluated by our Erb’s Palsy lawyers through a free consultation in the initial stage.
Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy Malpractice?
Pursuing An Erb’s Palsy Medical Negligence Claim
The medical malpractice team at our law firm specializes in assisting families to pursue financial compensation by helping them in filing erb’s palsy lawsuits.
Important information concerning what went wrong during labor and if your child’s injury could have been prevented is something we look for and gather. We have a track record of getting your child the highest amount of compensation when mistakes have been made.
In an Erb’s Palsy compensation claim, we will carefully walk you through each phase of the courtroom proceedings.
Our Erb’s Palsy attorneys work hard to ensure that the families affected provide a thorough witness statement and any pertinent medical records. After reviewing these, it might be necessary to obtain expert testimony from an obstetrician, midwife, pediatrician, and perhaps even a plastic surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon to hear their opinions on what caused the Erb’s palsy injury and whether it could have been avoided with better medical attention.
In order to fully examine the strength of a case and the opinions of the experts, it might also be necessary to involve experienced Erb’s Palsy medical malpractice lawyers if the evidence suggests that there has been subpar care. If the experts agree with the case, we will ask the hospital to take responsibility for the subpar care.
Compensation For An Erb’s Palsy Injury Case
Families affected by Erb’s Palsy injury after child delivery may be eligible to an average medical malpractice payout, if they can show that malpractice caused an avoidable injury.
Depending on the degree of the child’s damage and demands in the birth injury lawsuit, the Defendant may be required to pay your child a variety of compensation, such as:
- Erb’s Palsy attorney costs
- General medical bills for the actual harm, based on the injury’s severity.
- Estimated future medical costs
- The expense of physical therapy.
- Occupational therapy’s medical expenses.
- Hydrotherapy’s medical expenses.
- Surgical costs for procedures like tendon/muscle release and nerve grafting.
- Equipment and aids.
In addition to the aforementioned, other types of compensation may be sought through the assistance of our knowledgeable Erb’s palsy lawyers will carefully evaluate these and give you advice.
What is the Timeframe for a Child to Pursue An Erb’s Palsy Claim?
The time limits for pursuing a medical negligence lawsuit differ from those for adult claims in cases involving minors. For instance, if a child has mental capacity, the statute of limitations for pursuing a claim arising from their birth is 21 years old. Limitation can be tricky, therefore it’s crucial to discuss it with one of our expert Erb’s palsy lawyers so we can give you guidance. Even if your child is older than 21, you could still be able to win your case.
Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit Success Story
Jane (name changed to protect client confidentiality)
Jane is a young girl who sustained an Erb’s palsy injury at her birth after her mother went into a coma during labour. The coma caused her to be deprived of oxygen before she was born which triggered an obstetric emergency necessitating immediate delivery of Jane. Because of this rushed emergency delivery, Jane sustained a major child’s brachial plexus injury to her left arm resulting in significant weakness. She required surgery on two subsequent occasions to try and rectify the injury but was still sadly left with significant disability likely to affect and limit how she lives in the future.
This was a complex medical malpractice claim requiring careful consideration with an analysis of medical records by those in the fields of Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Orthopaedic Surgery. The expert evidence provided to this Erb’s Palsy case was that the Hospital had been negligent in inserting an epidural into Jane’s mother and had further failed to recognise the epidural had been incorrectly inserted which caused the coma. The Obstetric medical records showed that if this mistake had not happened, Jane would not have been delivered in an emergency situation and, therefore, would not have sustained a serious Erb’s palsy injury. The Hospital initially defended the claim, but with perseverance and hard work, Erb’s palsy lawyers were able to succeed with the claim and obtain significant financial compensation for Jane for the lifelong birth injury to her left arm.
Why Choose Us?
In addition to determining what went wrong with a child’s care, our team of medical negligence and Erb’s Palsy attorneys has a great deal of expertise winning significant Erb’s Palsy settlements.
If you, your child, or someone you know experienced an Erb’s Palsy or child’s brachial plexus injury during childbirth, get in touch with our experienced lawyers. Through our safe attorney client relationship, we can assist you in determining whether a claim for compensation is likely to be made to ensure that they receive damages if their harm was caused by subpar medical treatment.
Call one of our experienced Erb’s Palsy lawyers listed on the website for more details or, schedule a private, no-obligation initial consultation at our law firm.