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Defending Silent Victims of Birth Injury: Erb’s Palsy Cases

By Sean Burke on September 28, 2015

A gavel resting on a law book behind the scales of justiceThe Law Offices of Sean M. Burke successfully handles birth injury cases of all types, including those involving Erb’s palsy. By all rights, the birth of a baby should be a monumentally happy occasion, especially for the parents. Tragically, however, babies born with Erb’s palsy face challenges that will make development in their early years slow and difficult and could affect them for a lifetime. Even more tragically, many cases of Erb’s palsy are the result of medical malpractice, meaning that they could have been prevented if not for the negligent actions or inactions of medical professionals.

In presenting the strongest Erb’s palsy cases possible, Orange County attorney Sean M. Burke uses all of the resources at his disposal, including all pertinent medical records and documentation, expert witnesses, and other relevant evidence. If your child was born with Erb’s palsy, you can rely on Mr. Burke to fight for every cent of compensation that you deserve for your medical expenses, the cost of your child’s care, your pain and suffering, and other losses and expenses.

What is Erb’s palsy?

Erb’s palsy is a debilitating birth injury that is caused by the stretching of the brachial plexus, which is the collection of nerve roots in the spine that is connected to the nerves of the arms. When the brachial plexus is stretched too far, it can impair the child’s ability to use his or her shoulders, arms, and hands. The severity of the condition depends on how badly the brachial plexus was stretched and the nerves were damaged. A child may experience only minor loss of sensation in the shoulders, arms, and hands. In severe cases, however, he or she may have only limited range of motion in these vital parts of the body.

In some cases, Erb’s palsy resolves on its own over time, with a child’s development being delayed. In other cases, medical therapy or surgery is required. Unfortunately, some cases of Erb’s palsy endure into adulthood.

Erb’s Palsy and Medical Negligence

Not all instances of Erb’s palsy can be attributed to medical negligence. However, when birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy occur, they often point to errors on the part of the birthing team. One of Mr. Burke’s greatest skills as an attorney is his ability to investigate medical malpractice claims and collect the most compelling evidence to support his clients’ cases.

Erb’s palsy is commonly the result of a baby’s brachial plexus being stretched as a result of getting caught on the mother’s pelvic bone during birth. It is important to note that this happens fairly often and that all skilled obstetricians are trained to respond to such occurrences in a timely manner. The failure to prevent stretching of the brachial plexus by reacting as a competent obstetrician would be expected to react under such a circumstance can be construed as medical malpractice.

Generally, if there is a risk of stretching of the brachial nerves, the obstetrician should react by:

  • Performing an emergency C-section
  • Using forceps to extract the baby
  • Using a vacuum device to extract the baby

If none of these measures was used, and Erb’s palsy resulted, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Learn More about Erb’s Palsy Cases

To arrange for an evaluation of your Erb’s palsy case, please contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke today.

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