If your baby has been diagnosed with a birth injury palsy and think it is a result of medical malpractice, please do not go it alone. Contact us. We will take the time to listen to what happened, review your case and determine if it was a result of medical malpractice.
What is cerebral palsy?
The medical definition for cerebral palsy is a permanent brain injury that occurs before, during or after birth. Cerebral palsy is most often diagnosed soon after birth but may be diagnosed later on in childhood. Cerebral palsy is generally caused by damage to motor areas in the brain. Damage that impairs the brain’s ability to control body and muscle movement. In most cases, the cause of cerebral palsy will never be known but the brain injury can result from an infection, a lack of oxygen or bleeding into the brain. Some of the possible errors that could cause cerebral palsy are failure to recognize fetal distress, improper use of a vacuum extractor or delivery forceps, failure to timely deliver by C-section, failure to treat seizures during delivery, failure to recognize a prolapsed umbilical cord which has resulted in diminished oxygen supply, and failure to properly respond to vital sign irregularities.
What is Erb’s palsy?
During some deliveries complications are encountered by the doctor and medical team which require quick decisions and prudent reactions. In most cases, a properly trained doctor who is giving their full time and attention to the delivery, is able to react appropriately and deal with the complication. However, when the proper standard of medical care is not followed, the child may suffer a birth injury and be left with Erb’s Palsy.
Erb’s Palsy is a nerve injury that effects the movement of a child’s shoulder, arm, and hand. The injury usually happens when too much force is applied to the baby’s head, while trying to pull out a baby stuck in the birth canal. The baby may be too large to fit easily through the birth canal. When the baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal, it is called “shoulder dystocia.”
The risk of Erb’s Palsy is increased by birthing large infants and breech deliveries. Casaerian deliveries have been known to reduce the risk of Erb’s Palsy.
Erb’s Palsy is characterized by weakness or paralysis of the arm. The disorder causes varying amounts of impairment. The levels of impairment are known by some of the other names for the condition.
When the upper arm is the only part of the limb affected, the condition is simply called a brachial plexus injury. The condition is designated Erb’s paralysis when it affects moving the upper arm and rotating the lower arm. If the condition affects the hand it is called Klumpke paralysis; this form of the condition can cause the eyelid to droop on the side opposite to the affected hand.
Most cases of Erb’s palsy are due to stretching of the nerve and will heal within six to twelve months of delivery; stretching shocks the nerve, but rarely leaves permanent damage. Occasionally a stretch injury will cause scar tissue form around healthy nerves; in this case recovery may not be total. Cases in which the nerves are torn are the most serious and will not completely heal on their own. In rare instances the nerve is actually torn apart from the spinal cord; this is called an avulsion.
If your baby has suffered a birth injury and you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice, call Alonso Krangle LLP for a free consultation. We will discuss with you what your legal rights are and help you figure out if you have a case.