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Is My Doctor Responsible for Erb's Palsy?

Erb’s palsy can be the fault of your physician if your child was harmed by a care professional during childbirth. They may also be responsible if they failed to diagnose the condition when it was obvious your child had it. Identifying how a doctor was negligent will be critical to obtaining a settlement or court victory.

About 20% of Erb’s palsy cases result in permanent damage. Even when the condition is not permanent, it can interfere with your child’s development.

What Causes Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy typically occurs when your child’s head or neck is twisted, pulled, or stretched in an unnatural way during childbirth. This motion damages the bundle of nerves at the base of the neck known as the brachial plexus. Care providers who are negligent can injure your child during a breech birth or if they develop shoulder dystocia during birth, which occurs when a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal but their head emerges.

What Does Erb’s Palsy Do?

Erb’s palsy can cause pain in an infant due to the damage that is done to the nerve in the arm. It can also cause them to lose motor function in their arm. This may be a partial or a total loss, depending on the severity of the injury.

How Long Does Erb’s Palsy Last?

Depending on the degree of damage, your child may recover in as little as three months or they may face a permanent disability. Your child may be given an MRI or a CT myelogram to determine the extent of their nerve damage and their odds of recovery. There are four different types of injuries associated with Erb’s palsy, all of which have different prospects for recovery.

Is There a Cure For Erb’s Palsy?

There is no cure for Erb’s palsy, but the condition will usually resolve on its own if you help your child through a physical therapy regimen. Gentle stretching and massages, range of motion (ROM) exercises, and stimulation of the affected area can help to aid recovery in most cases. For more serious cases of Erb’s palsy, surgery may be necessary to reverse some of the damage.

How Do I Know My Doctor is Responsible for Erb’s Palsy?

Your care providers should ask standard questions and conduct routine tests before delivering your baby. If they failed to do the following, they may be guilty of negligence and responsible for your child’s Erb’s palsy.

Your obstetrician should ask or test you for the following:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • The size of your child and if they are larger than normal
  • Previous pregnancies and any problems associated with them
  • Alternative birthing options should your delivery be longer than normal

If the delivering doctor does any of the following, they may be guilty of negligence and could be responsible for your child’s Erb’s palsy:

  • Ignored signs that there would be problems with your labor, such as a breech birth or its duration
  • Roughly handles your child’s head or neck during delivery
  • The techniques they used or did not use to assist in the delivery of your child

If you need information about Erb's palsy resources, visit this site. There you will find information about the types of Erb’s palsy, the symptoms, and filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

How Do I Establish Liability for Erb’s Palsy?

If your care providers failed to ask you the above questions and take appropriate actions to safely deliver your child, then they could be guilty of negligence.

To proceed with a claim, you’ll need substantial evidence proving that your care providers skipped a critical step in your delivery. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you secure this evidence, move through the process of establishing a claim, and finally getting the compensation that you and your child deserve.


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