Erb’s palsy is a type of an injury that can affect a baby’s shoulder, arm and hand, giving the baby a limp arm. This type of injury may arise in the course of childbirth if excessive pressure is applied, thereby damaging the nerves in the shoulder. In case your child suffers from this type of injury you ought to contact an attorney immediately to determine whether you and your baby may have a medical malpractice case against the physician responsible for the injury. Erb’s palsy describes damage to the system of nerve fibers that deliver signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers, and so impacts the infant’s ability to manipulate the affected areas and feeling in those areas.
It is an injury that often at the time of a tough natural delivery on account of too much pressure to the head, neck or shoulders. The kind of deliveries in which a baby is has the greatest risk of being hurt in this way include those involving a large baby, breeched position or extended labor. In such situations, the physician or other health care professional may use maneuvers (sometimes involving forceps or a vacuum) that can result in too much pulling on the shoulders in the course of a headfirst delivery or place excessive pressure on the arm and shoulder during a breech delivery.
Overall, the newborn will present with what could most easily be referred to as a limp arm due to the significant injury to the nerves that provide motor control of the arm. Basically, the arm hangs limp and is rotated internally. As a result of the loss of use, the arm might also seem underdeveloped in comparison to the unaffected arm. Infants with Erb’s palsy might also show several other symptoms regarding difficulty with blood flow, for example skin rashes, slow healing, and a tendency for infections.
The majority of infants who sufferin from an Erb’s palsy injury are able to recover within 6 months, oftentimes with the help of physical therapy. In instances involving an actual rupturing or tearing of the nerves, surgery could be needed, perhaps including tendon transfers to compensate for nerves that no longer function. If an operation fails to eliminate the injury, the child could be left with lifelong, partial, or total loss of function of the impacted nerves, resulting in paralysis of the arm or arm weakness.
If your child suffers from Erb’s Palsy immediately consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to establish if you and your son or daughter might be able to pursue a claim against the doctor or other medical care professional responsible for your baby’s injury. Remember that the law restricts the time a plaintiff has to pursue a claim. Check with an attorney regarding how much time may be left as the law limits the time within which a claim must be filed in Court. Some jurisdictions may also have other notice, filing or timing requirements that could bar recovery if they are not meant.