If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy or another brachial plexus injury, you owe it to them to investigate whether medical malpractice was to blame.
Every year, between one and two out of every 1,000 births results with Erb’s palsy. This condition can cause permanent damage for some children and prevent them from using and controlling various muscles in both their hands and their arms. Although there are numerous causes of Erb’s palsy, many children are left with this debilitating condition as a result of negligent medical professionals.
Traumatic injuries to the upper shoulder and arm areas are one of the most common causes of Erb’s palsy. These injuries often impact babies who are subjected to lengthy and difficult deliveries. Erb’s palsy is a condition that has a dramatic impact on the upper brachial plexus region of the child. This condition can cause weakness and sometimes paralysis to the impacted side.
Babies are often impacted by these injuries due to gross negligence on behalf of medical professionals. When babies suffer as a result of negligent doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals, it is imperative that their families reach out to a reputable Dallas Erb’s palsy lawyer as soon as possible. Families may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the costs they face moving forward.
We at Rasansky Law Firm have extensive experience helping families throughout Texas get the justice and compensation they deserve after having a child sustain serious injuries as a result of negligent medical professionals. Our attorneys gather evidence in support of your claim and fight aggressively to ensure you are in the best position possible to move forward after your child is injured. Contact our personal injury attorneys in Texas as soon as possible to explore legal options available to you.
Erb’s Palsy & Brachial Plexus Injuries
Erb’s palsy (also commonly referred to as a brachial plexus injury or BPI) occurs when the nerves that surround the shoulder (brachial plexus) are damaged during the birthing process. This injury causes a lack of movement or weakness in the arm. There are several reasons this might occur, with the main one being the medical malpractice of a Dallas doctor or obstetrician. Some common types of brachial plexus injuries that can develop into Erb’s palsy include the following types of injuries:
- Neuropraxia: This injury is a result of a child suffering from substantial stretching in the brachial plexus region. These injuries may be mild in nature and present the ability for babies to recover early on. In other cases, children can be left permanently impaired as a result of arm, shoulder, or hand paralysis. The severity of the injury depends on the amount of stretching that impacted the child.
- Neuroma Injuries: Neuroma injuries are a result of scar tissue that develops after a nerve in the brachial plexus region is injured. As the nerve attempts to heal itself after trauma, scars build up. Scarring can cause neural compression, which stops the impacted area from working properly.
- Rupture Injuries: These injuries are extremely severe and occur when the nerve in the brachial plexus region is torn in multiple locations. These injuries often require therapy and surgery which helps to restore function to the impacted areas.
- Avulsion Injuries: This type of injury takes place when the nerve in the brachial plexus area is pulled away from the spinal cord. Avulsion injuries are by far the most severe type of injury and often require extensive surgery and a variety of types of long-term treatment.
The diagnosis of Erb’s palsy is extremely difficult. In many cases, the nerves may become injured as a result of other conditions that do not have the same impacts. It is crucial that a child receives a timely diagnosis so they can begin treatment early on. Without early intervention, it can have a damaging impact on their ability to recover.
If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy, and you believe negligence played a role, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable legal team as soon as possible. A responsive and effective Erb’s palsy attorney can help you understand whether your child is suffering from any of these injuries as a result of negligence and what legal options are available to you.
Overview and causes.
Erb’s palsy has several other names: brachial plexus injury, brachial paralysis, Klumpke paralysis, and Erb-Duchenne paralysis. Some of the most common causes of a brachial plexus injury during birth include:
- The pulling of the infant’s head and neck toward the side while the shoulders pass through the birth canal.
- The medical professional or other person pulling on the shoulders of the infant during a normal head presentation delivery.
- Placing pressure of the raised arms of the baby during a breech delivery.
There are several forms of brachial plexus injuries that can occur in an infant. The type of injury is contingent upon the amount of paralysis in the infant’s arm.
- In most cases brachial plexus injuries only affect the upper arm.
- In Erb’s paralysis both the upper and lower arm is affected.
- Klumpe paralysis affects the hand and may also cause the eyelid on the opposite side to droop.
The following risk factors may increase the potential for Erb’s palsy:
- A breech birth.
- An infant that is larger than normal, often the result of a diabetic mother.
- Problems with delivery of the baby’s shoulder after head presentation (such as shoulder dystocia).
The numbers of cases of brachial plexus injuries has declined with the adoption of modern delivery techniques. In fact, cesarean deliveries are used commonly when there are concerns about the safety of a delivery. It is important to keep in mind that while a c-section reduces the potential for injury, it certainly does not prevent it and carries risks of its own.
If an infant has a brachial plexus birth injury, symptoms will appear immediately or soon after he or she is born. The symptoms of the condition include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- The newborn fails to move his upper or lower arm (or hand).
- There is no Moro reflex on the side that is affected.
- There is a decreased grip on the side that is affected.
- The arm is bent at the elbow and held against the infant’s body.
Treatment Options for Erb’s Palsy
Children who suffer from Erb’s palsy have a variety of treatment options available. The severity and type of injury that caused the condition can have a determining impact on whether your child will be able to recover and gain some strength and control over the impacted area. Working with a qualified doctor or specialist is crucial in your baby’s recovery. It is imperative that patients are evaluated by a physician who can determine what treatment will work best for their particular situation. Unfortunately, many medical professionals overestimate the chances of children recovering, which can result in dramatic delays in treatment, overwhelming anxiety, and various other long-term consequences.
Treating Erb’s palsy early on is the most promising route families can take. It is crucial to begin treatment as soon after birth as possible. Addressing brachial plexus injuries within three months after birth can provide babies with the best chances of recovering.
Some of the most commonly utilized treatments for Erb’s Palsy include:
- Physical Therapy: Children who suffer from injuries resulting from the stretching of their nerves may find some types of physical therapy helpful. Undergoing sensory stimulation, strength exercises, and range of motion exercises can help children regain strength in the impacted area.
- Hydrotherapy or Occupational Therapy: These therapies are extremely helpful for children who suffer from mild to moderate nerve damage. The water allows the muscles to relax, it relieves some pain, and increases the range of motion to help them work on the affected areas.
- Surgery: There are some cases where surgery may be helpful. Children who suffer from severe nerve damage can have surgery to repair torn nerves or splitting injuries. Surgery can also be helpful in cases where babies and children have failed to progress after therapeutic measures. Some surgeries include nerve decompression or nerve graphs.
Regardless of what type of treatment your child receives, they all come at a significant cost. Not only does treatment require enormous financial investment, but they require a huge time commitment. When babies sustain injuries to the brachial plexus region, it is crucial that you contact an Erb’s palsy attorney in Dallas as soon as possible. We at Rasansky Law Firm strive to help our clients maximize their recoveries so they can help their children get the treatment they need to improve their physical condition and quality of life.
Prognosis (future outlook).
The majority of babies will recover by the time they are six months of age, but unfortunately, those who do not recover during that time have a tougher outlook. For these babies, there is a possibility that the nerve root is detached from the spinal cord; a condition called avulsion. Nerve avulsions can sometimes be partially treated by nerve grafting and nerve transfers. Children with Erb’s palsy can experience an array of long-term consequences, including, but not limited to:
- Arm weakness
- Problems with moving the shoulder or elbow in a circular motion
- Contractures of the joints on the side impacted by the injury
- Decreased range of motion
- Changes in sensitivity that may cause increased or decreased sensation to the impacted area
- Pain and discomfort to the arm and shoulder area impacted by the injury
If your child was born with Erb’s palsy or another form of brachial plexus injury (BPI), call the Dallas Erb’s palsy lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm. We can help you develop a life care plan for your child in order to determine the true value of your child’s injury over the course of their lifetime. We will then use this to develop a substantiated demand and seek the compensation that your child deserves. Fight for what your child deserves. Email us right now or call 1-877-405-4313 to speak with us about your case for free.
Speak With a Dallas Birth Injury Attorney For Free
Seeing your newborn suffer as a result of an impairment, injury, or condition can be overwhelming. The mental and emotional impacts that families endure often have a dramatic impact on their health and wellbeing. In many cases, children who suffer from Erb’s palsy are often unable to perform tasks by themselves and require the constant care and assistance of others. This condition has a significant impact on their health and quality of life. Although there are many causes of Erb’s palsy, numerous babies are left with this life-changing condition as a result of medical malpractice. If your baby sustained a birth injury that developed into Erb’s palsy, as a result of a negligent nurse, doctor, or another medical professional, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a qualified and knowledgeable Erb’s palsy attorney in Dallas immediately. You may have legal options available to help your family move forward towards recovery.
The Dallas medical malpractice attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm have decades of experience fighting on behalf of injured Texans and their families. Our attorneys strive to help victims protect their legal rights and maximize their recoveries after being harmed. We truly understand the overwhelming consequences victims and their families are forced to endure after babies sustain injuries that lead to Erb’s palsy and the impact it can have on them throughout their lives. Not only does this condition prevent babies from thriving and living a normal life, they often leave children in need of constant care. It is crucial that you protect your legal rights and get the compensation you need for both immediate and long-term care.
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.