Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

Erb’s palsy: How did medical negligence injure your child?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

After grueling months of pregnancy, your worst nightmare as an expecting parent is learning your newborn has become a disabled infant due to medical negligence.

At least six of 1,000 infants in the United States are born with an injury. One of the most common birth injuries and another type of paralysis, aside from the widely known cerebral palsy, is Erb’s palsy.

Erb’s palsy, a brachial plexus injury, affects a network of nerves through the spinal cord, shoulder, arms, hands and fingers. The impact of the injury numbs sensation and paralyzes movement. The severity of the injury depends on the affected nerves. While some are mild and treatable, like neuropraxia, others, like avulsion, result in permanent nerve damage.

Medical negligence leading to birth injury

Although there are natural risk factors that increase the chances of Erb’s palsy, such as maternal obesity and gestational diabetes, which are preventable through early detection, negligence of an attending physician or obstetrician may cause it through:

  • Failure to induce labor and properly administer birthing techniques during a high-risk delivery
  • Exerting excessive pressure on your baby’s shoulder, neck and head during a high-risk delivery with prolonged contractions
  • Delaying or failing to recognize the need for an emergency cesarean section and forcing a vaginal delivery
  • Failure to anticipate or address a breech birth or when your baby remains in an abnormal position with buttocks first instead of head
  • Failure to anticipate or address shoulder dystocia or when your baby’s shoulders get stuck in the pelvis

With the supervision of a legal team, it is crucial to conduct investigations establishing how the health professional’s negligent actions caused your child’s birth injury. This way, you can acquire prenatal medical records, coordinate with witnesses and create a timeline of events.

Fighting for your baby’s future

It’s unimaginable knowing your child, who you so delicately cared for, faces danger at the hands of the very people you’ve entirely entrusted them with. A legal team can advocate for your rights, assist you in filing a claim, and recover compensation for your child’s immediate treatment, long-term care and other medical needs.

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