Erb’s palsy injuries are devastating, yet preventable. If a medical provider damaged your baby’s brachial plexus nerve during delivery, you need to contact an Erb’s palsy lawyer.
The Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers know that you’re struggling to understand what happened to your baby. You might even be blaming yourself. Don’t worry. We’ll figure out what happened. Then, we’ll help you and your child win justice.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy (a.k.a. brachial plexus palsy) is a form of paralysis that affects the bundle of nerves in your baby’s neck. Those nerves provide movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. Palsy means weakness, and Erb’s palsy causes arm weakness and loss of motion.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons approximately 1 in 1,000 babies suffer Erb’s palsy.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy injuries often occur during childbirth after the baby’s shoulder gets stuck. When the baby’s shoulder is stuck, the medical provider must carefully adjust the baby’s position so that the brachial plexus nerves aren’t damaged. If the obstetrician or nurse-midwife pulls too hard on the baby’s neck, shoulder, or arm, they may damage the brachial plexus nerves and cause Erb’s palsy.
Erb’s palsy injuries are preventible. Your physician should perform a C-section delivery procedure if any of the following risk factors are present:
- Small maternal size
- Excessive weight gain by pregnant woman
- Excessive fetal size
- Diabetic mother
- Mother has as mall pelvis
- Mother is unable to push the child through the pelvis
Also, if your medical provider uses a vacuum extractor or forceps tool they must make sure that they don’t apply too much force or twisting motion.
Does My Child Have Erb’s Palsy?
Erbs palsy symptoms often appear soon after birth. If you suspect that your child suffered an Erb’s palsy injury, you should contact an Erb’s palsy lawyer. Your lawyer will refer you to a specialist that conducts nerve testing. That testing identifies the specific damaged nerves, as well as the injury severity.
Here’s how you identify a potential Erb’s Palsy injury:
- Arm weakness
- Arm bend at the elbow that is held against the body
- Decreased hand grip strength
- Arm numbness
- Impaired circulatory, muscular and nervous development
- Partial or total arm paralysis
- Arm numbness and tingling
Erb’s palsy is best treated with therapy as soon as the condition is diagnosed. Approximately 80% of babies with mild Erb’s palsy can make a full recovery. However, their recovery often takes several months or years. Unfortunately, babies that suffer a more severe Erb’s palsy injury may never recover.
Erb’s Palsy Treatment and Prognosis
Treatment and prognosis for Erb’s palsy depends upon the injury severity. Most babies suffer mild nerve injuries. Mild injury victims typically recover within 3-6 months. Severe injury cases occur when the nerve completely separates from the spinal cord. Those cases require ongoing medical treatment. Erb’s palsy may also cause permanent abnormal muscle contractions. Some babies also suffer permanent paralysis or arm weakness.
Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers Can Help
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys understand your heartache and grief. We’ll help you recover compensation to relieve your family’s financial burdens so that your child can reach their full potential.