Hundreds of birth injuries occur every year in Phoenix, Arizona. Among them is Erb’s palsy. If your baby has Erb’s palsy as a result of a physician’s error during the delivery process, you should consider seeking legal counsel as soon as possible. The legal team at Snyder & Wenner is dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights to compensation for the present losses they’ve endured and for the long-term effects their conditions may have on their lives.
What Is Erb’s palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus palsy. It occurs as a result of injury to the brachial plexus, which is a collection of nerves at the back of the neck that controls arm movement. When an injury to the nerves occurs, the upper and lower areas of the arm can be rendered useless, weak, or paralyzed, which are the most distinct symptoms of Erb’s palsy. In most cases, a child with Erb’s palsy will recover full range of motion in the arm with treatment and therapy—though some never do.
Establishing the Cause of Your Child’s Erb’s Palsy
As stated above, Erb’s palsy occurs as a result of a nerve injury. The injury might occur during the birthing process. Shoulder dystocia—the term used for the baby’s shoulder being stuck in the birth canal—can cause nerve damage that causes Erb’s palsy. When shoulder dystocia occurs, the doctor may move the head away from the shoulder so that the shoulder can emerge from the birth canal, explains the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. However, nerve damage (and Erb’s palsy) can occur during a cesarean section as well.
Anytime a doctor incorrectly pulls or twists a baby during the birthing process, the baby may be at risk of sustaining an injury. As such, Erb’s palsy may be caused by improper techniques, a physician pulling the baby excessively during birth, or the improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices. Additionally, another risk factor that may increase the chances of Erb’s palsy is a prolonged labor, for which a medical professional may or may not be responsible.
Our firm has the experience and resources to fully investigate the cause of your child’s condition. This will be important to determine liability and present evidence later in your case.
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy & Recovering Related Damages
Treatment for Erb’s palsy may vary, depending upon the severity of the injury (arm weakness or full paralysis). According to MedlinePlus, gentle massaging of the arm and range-of-motion exercises may be enough to remedy mild cases. For cases that do not improve within the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, specialized care may be required.
If the baby does not make a full recovery within several months, surgery may be necessary. However, long-term complications are possible. For example, abnormal muscle contractions and permanent loss of function can result.
When you file a claim against a negligent healthcare professional responsible for your child’s condition, you should establish all the effects of the condition. This includes the medical treatment you must pay for as a result of the injury. The claim can recover compensation for any physical therapy, surgery, and other treatment or care necessary for your child’s recovery. Your attorney will ensure your claim accounts for all damages to which you’re entitled.
Who’s Liable for Your Baby’s Erb’s Palsy?
If your baby has suffered from Erb’s palsy and if the Erb’s palsy was a direct result of a physician’s improper actions or negligence, then the physician may be liable for your baby’s birth injury. In order to prove liability and recover compensation for medical expenses and more, your lawyer will help you collect evidence like medical records and expert testimony about the physician’s actions.
How Snyder & Wenner Can Help
Nothing is more devastating to parents than watching their children suffer. If your baby has been hurt because of a doctor’s negligence, you need an attorney on your side to advocate for your family’s rights. At Snyder & Wenner, P.C., we work hard to make sure your family is awarded the compensation it deserves.