Throughout your pregnancy and labor, you trust your doctors and nurses to give you and your baby the proper treatments and medical advice to ensure a healthy birth. Unfortunately, birth injuries do occur due to negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals before or during labor. If your child is injured during birth, you may need to contact Erb’s palsy lawyers right away to get the compensation you deserve.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a disorder that occurs when the nerves in an infant’s upper arm are damaged during labor. It often happens when the baby’s head and neck are pulled to one side while the shoulder is still passing through the birth canal. This causes excessive pulling and can do minimal to severe nerve damage. In breech presentations, a child’s raised arm may also be under too much pressure and may be damaged.
In any case, if nerve damage occurs, depending on its severity, it may heal on its own or treatment may be necessary. Physiotherapeutic care and/or surgery may be necessary to return full use of the arm. However, in more severe cases, functionality may not ever fully return, and your child may be at a greater risk for developing arthritis later in life. This ordinarily occurs only in infants that have not recovered within their first year.
And how can you tell if your baby is suffering from Erb’s palsy?
If your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy due to birth injury, the affected arm will be weakened, partially paralyzed, or entirely paralyzed. You may notice that the arm is limp and/or that your baby holds it against the side of his or her body. There may also be decreased gripping ability with the hand on the affected arm, and your baby may have numbness or sensitivity in that arm, especially in the upper arm, where the nerves have been affected. Erb’s palsy may also impair muscular, circulatory, and/or nervous development in that arm.
Proving Negligence and Getting Compensation
In most cases of Erb’s palsy, medical malpractice has occurred due to negligence on the part of your doctor or one of the other medical professionals present at the time of labor. To gain compensation, you will need to prove that this occurred, though. Erb’s palsy lawyers will help you understand your case and determine the best course of action moving forward. If your child sustained injuries leading to Erb’s palsy during birth, there is a strong likelihood that your physician or obstetrician committed one or more of the following acts, all of which constitute negligence:
- Failing to call for a cesarean section when one is necessary.
- Failing to recognize and/or respond to signs of fetal distress.
- Using forceps or vacuum extractor incompetently.
- Failing to anticipate labor complications due to the baby’s size or position.
Your doctor and their staff are responsible for your health and your baby’s health. If, due to one, or a combination, of these acts of negligence, your baby was injured during birth, you are owed compensation. You should not be responsible for medical bills resulting from diagnosis and treatment of Erb’s palsy due to medical malpractice, and you should also be awarded pain and suffering benefits, as well.
Unfortunately, hospitals’ insurance companies are often prepared to do everything they can to avoid paying out on claims of medical malpractice. That’s why it is of the utmost importance to consult with qualified Erb’s palsy lawyers immediately to discuss your case and determine the next best step for you and your baby.