Birth injuries include a wide range of nerve and spinal cord trauma due to various mechanical forces during labor and delivery, leading to neurodevelopment impairment. Erb’s Palsy or Erb-Duchenne Palsy is a form of brachial plexus birth palsy. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, this traumatic birth injury occurs in one or two of every thousand newborns. The cause of this disability is attributed to a poorly performed delivery by an obstetrician or midwife, an act of medical negligence. Risk factors include a large baby, a breech presentation, prolonged delivery, or the use of obstetrical tools. When excessive force and other mechanisms are used to pull the baby from the birth canal, the baby’s neck can be excessively stretched, damaging the arm’s brachial nerves.
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that emanate from the spinal cord. These nerves control the movement and feeling in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injury to the brachial plexus may result in weakness and loss of sensation in the arm and partial or total paralysis. The nerve damage stunts the arm’s growth, and as the child grows, the arm will be noticeably smaller than the unaffected arm. It can cause a life-long disability, presenting many physical and emotional challenges. If you suspect that your child may have developed Erb’s Palsy from an improper delivery, the birth injury attorneys at the Badgley Law Group can help investigate your claim.
The prognosis of Erb’s Palsy depends on the severity of the injury. The injuries are categorized as:
- Neurapraxia is the mildest form of injury and usually heals within three months.
- A neuroma is a painful condition resulting from the formation of scar tissue. Only limited recovery is possible with medical intervention.
- Rupture occurs when the nerves are torn apart. Surgical intervention is indicated as it will not heal otherwise.
- The most severe injury is an avulsion, as medical treatment cannot restore an arm’s function.
A diagnosis of Erb’s Palsy is based on a physical examination and performing tests, such as electromyography, and imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scans.
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy can include:
- physical therapy,
- microsurgery for nerve grafts and transfers,
- the release of joint contractures, and
- tendon transfers.
Erb Palsy Lawsuits and Medical Malpractice
A medical team that uses excessive force to deliver a baby has failed to keep their patient safe. At the Badgley Law Group, we hold physicians and hospitals accountable for preventable birth injuries. These birth injuries occur when healthcare workers do not meet an acceptable standard of care. They result from a physician’s actions or lack of appropriate actions for a difficult delivery. Having aggressive legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial for these complex cases.
The Badgley Law Group provides Dedicated Legal Service from the Initial Consultation through Trial
Our law firm can begin to build a case when the damage is initially discovered. We analyze supporting evidence such as medical records and witness accounts by the medical team and other relevant professionals that assess a child’s developmental milestones. We conduct thorough, independent investigations of each case to determine liability. If a fair settlement in negotiations is not achieved, we progress a claim into the trial phase.
Attorney Jeffrey Badgley is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, which is the highest recognition by the Florida Bar. As a specialist in this law area, he is the right choice to advocate for your child’s medical malpractice claim. The Badgley Law Group has years of experience and success with claims against negligent health care professionals and their insurance carriers. We can anticipate the strategies that the defense uses in a medical malpractice claim.
We understand the Impact of Traumatic Birth Injuries
Caring for a child with a birth injury is a significant financial and emotional hardship. The amount of compensation awarded to families caring for a child with Erb’s Palsy is dependent on the severity of the injury. Families may file a lawsuit to cover the expenses of long-term treatment or surgeries to help recover the nerve function. There are costs related to therapy, adaptive equipment, and counseling for the child. Family members require compensation for lost wages for caring for the child. They endure emotional pain and suffering due to the deformity and disability of their child.
Contact the Badgley Law Group at 407-305-4547 to schedule an appointment at our Orlando, Florida office. We offer a free consultation with a caring medical malpractice attorney with a proven record of success.