During the birthing process, medical professionals may make mistakes that result in injuries. One of these injuries can be to your infant’s shoulder, called Erb’s palsy. The effects could last for a few months, or they could be permanent. When medical malpractice is the reason for your child’s suffering, Shrager & Sachs can help you. A skilled and experienced Philadelphia Erb’s palsy lawyer from our firm will fight to get you the compensation you need.
Birth injury expenses can start to pile up quickly. With our help, your compensation could cover pain and suffering, medical expenses, costs of future care, and more. We understand how traumatizing it can be to have to see your child fight to recover from their birth injury. That’s why we will do everything we can to win you a favorable settlement.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy, a form of a brachial plexus injury, is a condition that causes damage to the cluster of nerves in the shoulder that is responsible for upper arm movement. This is a birth injury that can occur because of medical negligence. Usually, an infant sustains a brachial plexus injury when the nerves are compressed during the delivery process.
The following can cause Erb’s palsy:
- The infant’s shoulders are stretched in a head-first delivery.
- The baby is being delivered feet-first, also known as a breech delivery. Too much pressure can be applied to their raised upper arms and cause an injury.
- When the shoulders are passing through the birth canal, the baby’s head and neck are pulled toward the side.
These injuries can be identified soon after the baby is born. While this gives you the chance to start treatment as soon as possible, it’s unacceptable that your baby sustained an injury. At Shrager & Sachs, we will stand up to hospitals and doctors who harmed your child, no matter what.
Erb’s Palsy Injuries
There are varying degrees of damage that can occur during birth. While most injuries will heal, others may have lasting effects. The different types of Erb’s palsy injuries are:
- Neuropraxia. A common type of injury, neuropraxia occurs when the nerve stretches, but no tearing is involved. These injuries can heal, and the recovery process usually takes about three months.
- Neuroma. This injury involves more severe stretching and it can damage nerve fibers. As the wound heals, scar tissue can develop and put pressure on the healthy nerves. People with neuroma may feel discomfort because of this. While recovery usually can’t be completed, a partial recovery is attainable.
- Rupture. During a stretch injury where the nerve tears, a rupture occurs. The healing process requires a surgical procedure to fix the nerves because it won’t heal on its own.
- Avulsions. This happens when the nerve tears from the spinal cord. It’s the most severe injury and surgery can possibly help, but even surgery can’t reattach the nerve to the spinal cord.
No matter the severity, your infant’s injury should never have happened in the first place. Your Philadelphia Erb’s palsy lawyer will look into the medical records and find what went wrong, who made the mistake, and how the injury affected your child.
What Are the Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy?
The signs that a baby has Erb’s palsy are easy to recognize because the baby may clearly favor one arm over the other or not seem to move the affected arm at all. Look for these symptoms:
- There is visual arm weakness and the infant won’t lift it or use it to reach for objects.
- One of the baby’s hands has a weaker grip strength.
- The arm is held against the body and seemingly limp.
- The arm appears to be paralyzed or numb.
- There is a loss of sensory function.
What Factors Affect the Chance of Erb’s Palsy Occurring?
While medical negligence can cause harm to anyone, there are a few factors that increase the chance of a shoulder injury.
- A baby that’s born breech has a higher chance of getting Erb’s palsy.
- Extraction tools are misused during delivery.
- There are issues with getting the baby’s shoulder out of the birth canal after the head has come out.
- The baby is larger than the average newborn.
While some deliveries may have a higher risk of injury, doctors should be well-informed of your medical situation and proceed in a way that keeps you and the baby healthy. You are not at fault if your doctor fails to develop a safe plan that takes into consideration your circumstances.
How an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in Philadelphia Can Help You
You deserve representation that will fight for you and your child. We will defend your rights and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. With our help, you can get peace of mind that you won’t have to worry about your financial future. We’ll do everything to get you a settlement that will allow you to focus on your child’s recovery and wellbeing.
If your child was wrongfully injured during birth and has suffered from Erb’s palsy, get in touch with us today. You can schedule a free consultation to talk about your case. We’re here to help you get justice for your child.