Erb’s Palsy Is Sometimes the Result of Medical Negligence
The birth of a child is a joyous occasion, but for some parents, this joy is tarnished by a birth injury. Injuries to a baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery may result in serious health concerns for both the mother and the child. In some cases, birth injuries cause a child to suffer from health concerns for the rest of his or her life. Erb’s Palsy is a condition that most often results from injury to a baby’s brachial plexus nerves during birth. A baby suffering from Erb’s Palsy may experience weakness, loss of feeling, and partial or total paralysis of the arm. He or she may need several surgeries and years of physical therapy to reduce the harm caused by the injury.
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that allows movement of the arms, shoulders, and hands. Damage to these nerves can be caused by any type of trauma, however, most brachial plexus injuries are the result of injury during birth. Often, this nerve damage occurs as a result of attempts to move the baby through the birth canal. A condition called shoulder dystocia can occur if the baby’s shoulder becomes lodged on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. This is a very dangerous condition because it may deprive the baby of oxygen and cause brain damage or death. Consequently, doctors must work quickly to fix the condition and allow the baby to exit the birth canal. Some brachial plexus injuries occur when a doctor uses force to pull the baby through the birth canal and the baby’s neck is stretched to the point of injury. Other times, the use of vacuum extraction or forceps during birth causes an infant to suffer from a brachial plexus injury.
Receiving Compensation for Your Damages
Erb’s Palsy is often preventable. If a doctor acts negligently during an infant’s birth and this negligence causes the child to suffer from Erb’s Palsy, the doctor or the medical facility at which the child was born may be liable for the injury. Medical negligence typically involves the doctor deviating from the accepted medical standard of care. This standard of care refers to the proficiency of care that would be reasonably expected of someone with comparable medical training and experience in a similar situation.
If a doctor is found to have committed medical malpractice, the infant’s parents may be entitled to damages. The parents may be eligible for compensation for their baby’s medical treatment, surgeries, prescription medication, rehabilitation or physical therapy, and other medical expenses. They may also receive compensation for pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Contact a Joliet Birth Injury Lawyer
Damage to the brachial plexus nerves during birth can cause a baby to suffer from Erb’s Palsy. This condition can cause partial paralysis, weakness, numbness, and reduced movement in the hands, shoulders, or arms. If a baby develops Erb’s Palsy due to medical malpractice, the baby’s parents may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options following a birth injury, contact Schwartz Injury Law. Call our office at 815-723-7300 and schedule a consultation with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.