Erb’s Palsy lawyers
Statistics show that five children out of every 1,000 born experience some type of birth injury. One such birth injury is Erb’s Palsy, an obstetric injury to the brachial plexus, a grouping of nerves centered around the shoulder where the neck connects with the fifth and sixth cranial nerves.
The most common form of Erb’s Palsy occurs when there is damage to the fifth and six cranial nerves during birth. This type of injury may occur following the delivery of the head as it is turned away from the baby’s shoulder so that the shoulder can clear the birth canal. This is referred to “shoulder dystocia”. Erb’s Palsy refers to an injury to the baby’s upper nerves and may range from mild to severe.
Factors that indicate an increased risk of Erb’s Palsy include:
- Large infant body
- Small maternal body
- Breech birth
- Excessive maternal weight and/or infant birth weight
- Forceps or vacuum extraction used during birthing process
- Second stage of labor exceeding one hour
Due to a disruption of the nerve fibers in the fifth and sixth cranial nerves, there is a subsequent loss of feeling and muscle weakness or even paralysis in the muscle of the shoulder area and upper extremity. As a result, newborn infants that are affected by Erb’s Palsy will not be able to move their shoulder or upper arm, but may be able to wiggle the fingers in the affected appendage.
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Erb’s Palsy children may exhibit the following signs:
- Lack of motor function in the upper arm
- Reduced grip strength
- Partial or full paralysis
- Reduced circulation
- Lack of muscle development
Medical care for children with Erb’s Palsy is multidisciplinary, involving neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and physical/occupational therapists. Depending upon the severity of the condition, treatment for Erb’s Palsy could include surgery, therapy, and home care.
Erb’s Palsy is often a product of medical malpractice because the doctor failed to recognize the risk factors that were present during pregnancy and/or at the time of a child’s birth, did not recommend a C-section, or mishandled the baby during his or her birth.
However, determining if your child’s condition was the result of medical malpractice is a job for an attorney who is experienced in handling cases involving medical malpractice or negligence. Scott S. Harris, San Diego medical malpractice attorney, has years of experience when it comes to handling medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries.
Taking the necessary steps
In cases of Erb’s Palsy, Scott S. Harris will consult with medical experts and investigators in reviewing the actions and decisions made by the doctor, nurses, and other attending staff during the birth of your child. After reviewing the evidence, he’ll decide as to whether standard protocols were followed in identifying the risk factors and warning signs associated with Erb’s Palsy.
If you suspect that your child’s condition was the result of medical malpractice and are seeking legal advice, call The Law Offices of Scott S. Harris, birth injury attorneys in Southern California. Scott S. Harris works to protect the rights of the injured throughout Southern California, from San Diego to Los Angeles.