The most common injury at birth is a newborn’s fractured collarbone, which can lead to the development of Erb’s palsy (also known as brachial plexus birth palsy), a nerve condition that affects the shoulder and arm. The mere thought of that happening to your newborn is upsetting and painful to parents. Unfortunately, some 12,000 babies are born with Erb’s palsy. If your child suffered a birth injury you could be entitled to financial compensation for medical malpractice.
How Can Childbirth Trigger Erb’s Palsy?
During a difficult vaginal childbirth or a cesarean section, a doctor may have to move the baby’s head if it is in a breech position. This condition is most common in larger babies who may need to be pulled out during delivery. In some cases, the stretching of the nerves causes damage and tears. The injury leads to weakness or loss of muscle function. Medications such as oxytocin or an epidural during labor can also be contributing factors. There are four types of brachial plexus injuries during childbirth:
Avulsion – nerve tears away from the spine
Rupture – nerve is torn but not from the spine
Neuroma – nerve tears and heals, leaving scar tissue that puts pressure on the injured nerve and prevents signals to the muscles
Neurapraxia – nerve is stretched but not torn
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Some cases of Erb’s palsy resolve themselves with physical therapy. But the nerve may have to be repaired and the healing process tends to be slow. Stretching exercises prevent stiffness in the child’s arm, hand and wrist and the goal is to avoid a joint contracture or permanent joint stiffness. Water therapy is also an option, making movement less painful. Some doctors may inject botox to paralyze the muscles that do work and force weaker muscles to take over. If your child’s ability to move with more ease does not improve before your baby is six months old, surgery may be necessary. Putting your newborn through invasive surgeries to repair damaged nerves and muscles because of someone’s negligence is not acceptable.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If your baby suffered an injury during childbirth as a result of medical negligence, a Schaumburg medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you pursue compensation for medical bills, treatment, and more. At [[title]], we have more than 60 years of combined experience. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation today.