The Fitzgerald Law Firm has represented hundreds of children injured during pregnancy and at birth, including children with Erb’s palsy.  In one case, The Fitzgerald Law Firm negotiated a settlement for $1,600,000 for a child with Erb’s palsy. In that case, a medical malpractice lawyer successfully contended that the obstetrician failed to anticipate the occurrence of shoulder dystocia and failed to properly deliver the infant, resulting in Erb’s palsy.

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When shoulder dystocia or other birth complications occur, a physician and other medical professionals have a duty to take the appropriate measures to correct the problem and avoid injury to the mother and child. When shoulder dystocia occurs, there are a number of medical techniques, such as the HELPERR protocol, that can be employed to avoid causing injury. When a medical professional fails to take these essential steps and a child develops Erb’s palsy (also referred to as Erbs palsy), the physician can be held liable for the birth injury. By hiring a medical malpractice lawyer you can file a lawsuit against the physician and possible be awarded compensation for your damages.

Erb’s Palsy is a medical condition involving trauma to the brachial plexus group of nerve fibers extending bilaterally from the spinal cord to the shoulder area and through the upper extremities. Ninety percent of Erbs palsy cases in children are the result of birth injuries. Shoulder dystocia is the most common birth complication that causes Erbs palsy. Shoulder dystocia is defined as a difficult childbirth during which the baby’s shoulder becomes impacted on the mother’s pelvis. While Erbs Palsy is a rare birth injury, affecting two newborns for every 1,000 births, it can involve significant injury and trauma.

When a child suffers from Erbs palsy, the symptoms of this birth injury can appear soon after birth. A child with Erbs palsy may exhibit any of the following symptoms: loss of muscle control, limpness and low muscle tone in the arm muscles, decreased sensation, and partial or complete paralysis. Recovery from Erbs Palsy depends on the location and extent of the brachial plexus trauma.

There are four types of Erbs palsy injury, which vary in severity and subsequent treatment. Erbs palsy involving nerve stretch without any tearing of the fibers has the greatest chance of healing without medical intervention. A nerve tear in the brachial plexus can also cause Erbs palsy. If the tear occurs at another point other than where the nerves attach to the spinal cord, the injury has a good chance of healing without intervention. Approximately 80 percent of all children with Erbs Palsy will recover without medical intervention. Erbs palsy can be the result of scar tissue build up at the torn nerve site. The most severe cases of Erbs palsy involve avulsion, or total tearing of the nerves away from the spinal cord.

When Erbs palsy requires medical intervention, there are surgical procedures available to correct the child’s nerve damage. These surgical procedures can restore feeling and function to the affected extremities. Erbs palsy surgery is most effective when performed on a child between four and twelve months of age. Erbs palsy surgery tends to be less effective after the child’s first year of life. Studies have found that surgery can restore function to the affected arms 80 to 90 percent of the time. Other medical treatments can be employed to help improve a child’s Erbs palsy condition.

If you believe that your child has developed Erbs palsy, you may wish to speak with caring and competent New York medical malpractice lawyer who can evaluate your child’s case to determine if medical negligence contributed to your child’s condition. To learn more about Erbs palsy, please contact us to speak with qualified New York medical malpractice attorney.