Birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino knows Erb’s palsy and understands the emotional as well as psychological impact this devastating diagnosis can have on a family. What can be even more traumatic, however, is discovering that a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider before, during, or after the birth process caused the injury.
Experienced Attorneys Who Know Birth Injuries
Birth complications that result in Erb’s palsy can occur for a number of reasons. In many cases, Erb’s palsy is a preventable condition that may be due to medical negligence. As an experienced and reputable birth-injury attorney who has dealt with a host of child-injury medical-malpractice cases, Jeffrey Killino goes the extra mile to secure compensation for victims of birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy. His diverse legal team includes paralegals, investigators, and top-notch attorneys who will work closely with medical professionals in conducting a thorough probe to determine the exact cause of your child’s injuries.
If negligence is proven to have been a cause of your child’s injuries, our attorneys will take the steps necessary to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable. If you believe that your child’s Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy may have been caused by someone’s negligence, contact birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for more information about your legal rights and options.
Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects the group of nerves that control the muscles in the arms and hands and can include symptoms of limpness, paralysis, lack of muscle control, and decreased sensation in the affected areas. Certain injuries, such as a stretching of the nerves, scar tissue around the nerves, or ruptured or torn nerves may occur as a result.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), shoulder dystocia during childbirth is the greatest cause of brachial plexus or Erb’s palsy, and many factors may contribute to its severity. The first is the number of nerves that have been affected. The first two of the five nerves of the brachial plexus are most often involved. A classic sign of this is an elbow that does not bend and a hand that is held in a backward position.
Nerve damage is often the most problematic side effect of Erb’s palsy but is also the most varied. Some patients lose all sensory perception in the arm after procedures and many lose sensory perception between the shoulder and the elbow.
Approximately two out of every 10,000 infants will require surgical treatment for a birth injury that causes nerve damage in the brachial plexus region. Surgery, physical, occupational therapy, and hydrotherapy can help to increase a child’s range of movement in the upper extremities, keep the muscles from atrophy or rigidity, and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the affected extremities. With Erb’s palsy treatment, mild cases tend to resolve within three or four months. With more serious cases, recovery may occur slowly over the first 18 to 24 months of life. Typically, after two years, little improvement in a patient’s condition will occur. In some cases, patients will suffer some degree of long-term disability.
Liability for Erb’s Palsy Injuries
The negligence of an obstetrician or other medical professionals assisting in a child’s birth may result in an Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy injury to the child. The injury may be caused, for example, when an infant’s head and neck are pulled toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal. The condition can also be caused by excessive pulling on the shoulders, head, or neck during a headfirst delivery or by pressure on the raised arms during a breech birth. When any of these methods are used to aid in the progress of a vaginal birth, the medical professionals who engage in or are otherwise responsible for the employment of these methods may be found liable for the Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus injuries suffered by the child as a result.
Negligent Diagnosis, Response to, and Management of Shoulder Dystocia
As the major cause of Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy is shoulder dystocia during delivery, the negligence of medical professionals in the diagnosis, response to, and management of the risk and occurrence of shoulder dystocia may be found to constitute a cause of a child’s Erb’s palsy injury.
· Failure to Predict or Prevent Risk of Shoulder Dystocia
Many factors during pregnancy may increase the risk of the occurrence of shoulder dystocia during a child’s delivery. If an obstetrician or physician fails to recognize this risk and/or take precautions to reduce this risk, such failure may be considered a negligent cause of the child’s Erb’s palsy injury.
A mother’s obesity and/or diabetes, for example, are risk factors for shoulder dystocia. An obstetrician’s failure to monitor a pregnant woman’s weight or failure to control her diabetes may, thus, increase the risk of shoulder dystocia and a resultant Erb’s palsy birth injury.
· Failure to Order a C-section Delivery
In some cases, a known risk of shoulder dystocia (for example, a fetus of a weight larger than normal for its gestational age) may indicate the necessity for a C-section rather than a vaginal delivery. A physician’s negligent failure to order a C-section when so indicated may be found to constitute a cause of a baby’s Erb’s palsy birth injury and subject the physician to liability in a medical malpractice action.
If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy and you believe the negligence of medical professionals may have caused or contributed to your child’s birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation from the parties responsible. Contact birth-injury and Erb’s-palsy lawyer Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 or fill out and submit the form below to learn more about your legal rights.