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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

When Medical Malpractice Results in Erb’s Palsy

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on August 19, 2015

Doctor holding a newborn babyWhen it comes time for a pregnant woman to deliver her baby, she is often filled with hope and joy at the chance to finally meet her child. However, that joy can quickly turn to fear and sadness if there are difficulties during the birthing procedure. When labor does not go as anticipated, it can be easy for medical personnel to become distracted and make rash decisions, which could result in a birth injury. If the neglect or inappropriate actions of a medical professional have resulted in a birth injury, a medical malpractice suit can be filed to seek financial compensation for damages suffered. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our attorneys have represented numerous Erb’s Palsy cases for our Daytona Beach clients, allowing them to be free of the financial and emotional hardships that are often associated with this birth injury.

What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy, medically known as brachial plexus palsy or shoulder dystocia, is a condition in which the nerves that connect the neck to the arm are damaged, torn, or severed. This can cause significant pain to the baby and can also limit feeling and mobility in the affected arm. Some of the most common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include the following:

  • A limp arm
  • The arm bends slightly at the elbow
  • Difficulty gripping with the hand on the affected side
  • Arm numbness
  • Partial or full paralysis of the affected arm

Causes of Erb’s Palsy

The most common cause of Erb’s palsy is an injury during the birthing process. This often occurs in cases of a difficult labor or when the child becomes lodged in the birthing canal. Erb’s palsy can be caused by any of the following:

  • Tugging or pulling on the baby’s head, shoulders, or legs
  • Using extraction tools, such as forceps or vacuums, incorrectly
  • Lifting the baby up incorrectly (by the arms) after delivery

Although a physician has to make prompt decisions when there are birthing complications, it is still his or her responsibility to follow proper protocol to prevent injury or harm to the mother or child. For this reason, cases of Erb’s palsy may fall under the category of medical malpractice.

Seeking Compensation

Erb’s palsy can be a costly injury, possibly resulting in numerous doctor visits, occupational and physical therapy, medication, and, in some cases, surgery. Not only is this a financial strain, but it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Although a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot take away the physical or emotional hardship of Erb’s palsy, it can ease the financial burden. Our attorneys can gather the information that is needed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and help you in your fight for just compensation for damages suffered.

Contact Us

If your baby was injured during the birthing process and you believe that it was a result of medical malpractice, contact us at your earliest convenience to meet with one of our experienced attorneys. We can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the legal process of filing suit for financial compensation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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