The brachial plexus is a group of nerves surrounding the shoulder. When these nerves are damaged during delivery, a condition known as Erb’s palsy, or Erb’s paralysis, may develop. Erb’s palsy affects both the upper and lower arm. Although some infants suffering from Erb’s palsy heal within the first several months of life, in severe cases, such as cases in which the nerves separate from the spinal cord, recovery may never occur. Immediate symptoms of a brachial plexus injury are a perceived difficulty in the newborn moving his or her arm, and diminished grip and reflexes. While subtle, a trained physician should be able to spot these shortly after birth in order to begin treatment and mitigate the damage caused during delivery.
As delivery techniques have improved, the risk for a brachial plexus injury during childbirth has decreased. Physicians still must be aware of contributing factors that could lead to this type of birth injury. A breech delivery can lead to brachial plexus injuries, as can an infant born larger than normal. If a delivering physician has difficulty freeing the shoulder after the head has cleared the birth canal, complications can arise as well.
Given, or even absent, these warning signs for brachial plexus, and later Erb’s palsy, physicians must take great care when delivering infants to ensure that these complications do not occur. There are several manners in which a physician’s negligence can lead to Erb’s palsy, causing undue hardship for both you and your newborn baby: stretching the infant’s shoulders in a normal delivery; pressure upon the brachial plexus area during delivery; and abnormal stress on this area during passage.
The severity of the brachial plexus injury determines the prognosis for your child’s recovery. If this injury was the result of a doctor’s negligence, you and your infant also deserve to recover financially. The attorneys at Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC have over four decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases and receiving maximum value for our clients. If and when a verdict or settlement is reached, our attorneys and staff will help you establish the necessary accounts and investments necessary to provide for your child’s future.
If you feel that a doctor’s negligence has caused your child a medical malpractice birth injury, such as Erb’s palsy, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC today to schedule an initial consultation. With experience litigating medical malpractice claims in Westchester, Long Island, the five boroughs, Rockland, and Orange, we will help you navigate your suit from start to finish, and help you obtain the just compensation that you deserve. You and your child need to focus on physical and mental recovery. Let our attorneys worry about the rest.