The birthing process is often a time of stress and worry. However, people rely on their doctors to get them through this stressful time by providing quality care that ensures that delivery goes safely and smoothly. Of course, there are some birthing experiences that are naturally complicated. While this may be difficult to handle, instances in which the newborn child is injured are even more traumatic. A birth injury may result in serious short- or long-term consequences for the baby and its family. Erb’s palsy is one such injury. While not all cases of Erb’s palsy are the result of substandard medical care, or medical malpractice, if an injury does occur, it is in the parents’ best interests to investigate the case further to determine if the doctor or medical staff may be at fault for the injury. The medical malpractice attorneys working at the law offices of Sean M. Burke are experienced in determining fault in Erb’s palsy cases and can help our Orange County, CA clients determine if they have a strong case for a medical malpractice suit.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy describes an injury to the brachial plexus, which is the series of nerves that connects the spine to the upper arm. This injury, which commonly occurs during birth, can limit motor functions and alter the appearance of the arm. While each case will vary in severity and specific symptoms, below are some of the possible side effects of Erb’s palsy:
- A limp arm
- A slight bend in the elbow (the arm won’t lie straight)
- Partial or full paralysis in the arm
- Weakness in the arm
- A loss of sensation in the arm
- Weak grip in the hand of the affected arm
In some cases, the nerves may heal on their own over time, but in more severe cases of Erb’s palsy, these symptoms last a lifetime.
Determining Fault for an Erb’s Palsy Injury
During the birthing process, especially if complications occur, doctors are often required to make quick decisions. Even if an injury such as Erb’s palsy occurs as a result of these decisions, it does not necessarily mean that the doctor is at fault for the injury. If decisions were made in order to avoid more serious complications, it will be difficult to prove medical malpractice.
However, there are times when doctors provide substandard care that does directly result in a birthing injury. Our attorneys are highly experienced and can recognize some of the medical decisions that can lead to this birthing injury. Below are some circumstances that may be used to determine fault in an Erb’s palsy case:
- The doctor delays or neglects a necessary C-section
- The doctor applies too much force when using devices such as forceps
- The doctor pulls excessively on the shoulders during the birthing process
In any Erb’s palsy case, it is advisable to have the details of the birth investigated to determine if you may be due compensation for damages suffered.
Contact Our Firm
If your child suffered a birth injury such as Erb’s palsy, our attorneys would like to help you determine whether you have a medical malpractice case. We have a team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys who can look into the details of your case and advise you on your best course of legal action. To learn more about your legal options, contact our firm at your earliest convenience.