However, mistakes happen, and so does negligence.
You should not be held responsible for all of the medical expenses that are necessary to care for a child with a preventable birth injury. If you were under the supervision of a physician or midwife who did not make note of the risk factors, or who used excessive force during delivery, you, your child, and your family deserve all the help you can get.
Improper prenatal care and delivery techniques sometimes turn into a permanent problem for the baby. Infants are fragile, and too much pressure on the neck and shoulders during delivery, either because of the size ratio of the baby’s head and shoulders or the doctor’s use of forceps or vacuum extractor, can quickly damage the nerves that control the child’s arms. This particular type of nerve damage, called a brachial plexus injury, can leave the child with Erb’s Palsy — and it’s almost always preventable.
The term, “brachial” refers to the arm, and “plexus” relates to a network of nerves. Damage to the nerves that control the use of one’s shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist and hand muscles can occur in many different ways throughout a person’s life. When it happens during delivery, it’s usually due to poor prenatal observation, preparation, and delivery maneuvers. First of all, it’s up to the physician to monitor the baby’s weight, size, and position once the delivery day gets close. If the baby is too large to fit through the mother’s birth canal, the child’s shoulders can get stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone. The combination of this kind of wedge and excess force during delivery is the most common cause of this type of injury. It is the responsibility of the medical professionals to keep a close eye on the mother and unborn baby, and to watch for warning signs. If the mother is particularly petite, obese, or has gestational diabetes, or if the baby is growing at an abnormally fast pace, Erb’s Palsy is completely preventable with the proper care.
Babies with Erb’s Palsy exhibit a variety of symptoms. Severity varies, but typical indicators are:
- Lack of muscle control or sensation in the hand, wrist, or arm
- Paralysis of the arms, shoulder or elbow muscles
- Limp hands and fingers
- Facial paralysis
- Inability to crawl without intervention
- Inability to sit up without assistance.
Erb’s Palsy affects as many as 2 out of every 1,000 infants. Like most conditions, early intervention is key. All treatment plans involve physical therapy and/or occupational therapy to help improve joint motion, reduce stiffness and stimulate nerve function. A lifetime of pain and discomfort is not a life you want for your child. If the injuries are the aftermath of an error in judgment or medical procedure on the part of a medical professional, you have a right to seek compensation. Don’t be afraid to pursue legal assistance. Treatment of Erb’s Palsy is specialized, and the costs associated with proper care are extraordinary for most families. Many children must live with severe, permanent disabilities such as:
- Weakness – Damaged nerves can cause the arm, wrist, and hands to be weak, which over time, usually causes the muscles to atrophy.
- Muscle Contractions – The muscles in the arms often contract abnormally, causing a permanent tightening.
- Paralysis – Whether paralysis is partial or full depends on whether or not the root of the nerve is completely severed from the spinal cord.
Central Louisiana Erb’s Palsy lawyer Chris J. Roy Jr., founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, understands how challenging it can be for families to cope with the trauma of birth injuries arising out of medical negligence. He seeks to ease the financial, mental, and physical burden that the litigation process can add by consistently communicating with you, as well as handling the complicated details so you can focus on your new bundle of joy. While the firm is large enough to supply the necessary resources to handle any type of personal injury, it is also small enough to provide the individual attention that your case deserves.
By choosing the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, you will benefit from nearly three decades of experience and skilled representation. Chris J. Roy, Jr. will carefully examine all possible avenues for compensation to make sure you get the best recovery possible. He handles claims from anywhere in Louisiana, with a concentration in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, and Grant Parish. For a free consultation to find out your options, contact LA Erb’s Palsy lawyer Chris J. Roy, Jr. by calling 1-318-987-8170 or filling out a case evaluation form.