Erb’s Palsy / Brachial Plexus Lawsuits
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Erb’s Palsy is a paralysis or weakness of an infant’s arm caused by injury to the brachial plexus, the nerves that provide feeling and movement to the fingers, hands, and arms. Infants who sustain this birth injury may need physical therapy or surgery and may be permanently disabled for life. In very severe cases, the child will have complete lack of use of the arm, it will atrophy, and hang bent inward all their lives.
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is usually the result of injury at birth caused when the infant’s delivery is not properly managed by the doctor or midwife. It occurs when an infant’s shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery, the doctor or midwife has failed to anticipate the situation and exerts too much force on the baby. This can happen in a variety of circumstances: with prolonged labor, a breech presentation, a large baby, with vacuum-forceps, forceps, and with other instruments used by doctors during labor and delivery.
Common Erb’s Palsy Brachial Plexus Injuries
There are four different types of brachial plexus injuries:
- Neuropraxia: A stretching of the nerve. This is the most common type of brachial plexus injury.
- Neuroma: A tearing and then healing of the nerve, which creates scar tissue.
- Rupture: A tearing of the nerve, but not at its attachment to the spine.
- Avulsion: A complete tearing of the nerve from the spine, the most severe type of injury.
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Infants with Erb’s Palsy have one or more of the following problems:
- The infant does not move the arm or shoulder
- The arm is bent inward and toward the body
- The arm is weak or lack of reflexes
- The arm or hand have no feeling or sensation
- The arm is limp or paralyzed
- There is no muscle control in the wrist, hand, or arm
What to Do if Your Child has Erb’s Palsy
If you suspect or have been told that your baby has Erb’s Palsy, you should have your child seen as soon as possible by a pediatric neurologist who will examine your baby, run tests, make a definitive diagnosis, and recommend treatment for your child. Having a child with Erb’s Palsy can result in serious hardship, both for your child and your family. Your child will in all likelihood need prolonged special physical and occupational therapy and may need adaptive equipment as well.
We Can Fight for Justice and Your Family’s Future
If your infant has sustained injury during delivery and you believe a medical professional should be held responsible, we urge you to contact a New York birth injury attorney at Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. We are dedicated to working hard to help you get the recovery your child deserves. We understand that there is no amount of money that can compensate for suffering, but we also know that a monetary recovery can provide the expensive medical care that your child will need. We are prepared to provide compassionate legal guidance through this difficult time.