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if your son or daughter suffers from an Erb's palsy birth injury.
Whar is Erb's Palsy?
Erb's Palsy is a nerve injury to the Brachial Plexus nerves. The Brachial Plexus is a group of nerves that run from the spine through the shoulder and to the tips of the fingers. These nerves conduct the signals from the spine allowing the arm and hand to move. Damage to these nerves affects the child's ability to control the muscles in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Your child's disability depends on which nerves are injured and how severely they have been damaged.
Children with Erb's Palsy are affected in different ways. Here are some examples:
Erb's Palsy symptoms range from a stretching of the nerves with mild limitation of movement and early recovery to a tear of the nerves with complete paralysis and little potential for recovery;What causes Erb's Palsy?
Erb's Palsy (a Brachial Plexus injury) is generally the result of a complication during the child's birth. During the delivery the baby's shoulder may get caught and stretched behind the Pubic Symphysis bone (part of the mother's Pelvis bone). This is known as Shoulder Dystocia. Unless appropriate steps are taken when the shoulder gets stuck, the Brachial Plexus nerves can be compressed, stretched or even torn.
Many babies with Erb's Palsy are larger than average at birth. However, newborns of all sizes, including premature babies, can have these injuries. A larger baby will have a greater chance of getting caught behind the Pubic Symphysis bone and getting injured severely.
About 1 or 2 babies in 1,000 suffer from Erb's Palsy. The symptoms of Erb's Palsy include a limp or paralyzed arm and/or lack of muscle control in the arm or hand.Diagnosing Erb's Palsy?
There are 4 types of Erb's Palsy:
Often the diagnosis is more complicated than one of the four groups above. This can occur when different injury types cause the same symptoms making it difficult to know what kind of injury has occured. In addition, sometimes more than one nerve in the Brachial Plexus is injured and the nerves may have different types of injuries.Treatment for Erb's Palsy?
The treatment plan for your child will be based on the level of the nerves involved and the extent of the damage.
Most cases of Erb's Palsy are mild and most children will recover in 3 to 9 months. The more moderate injuries may take 18 to 24 months to recover. During this recovery time physical therapy may be necessary. Gentle range of motion exercises and electrical stimulation of muscles are be performed regularly as part of a physical therapy program to the muscles and the joints of the arm supple and prevent atrophy. Occupational therapy may also be appropriate.In the more severe cases, surgery may be recommended. Types of Surgeries include:
In the most severe cases it may take years before the full extent of any permanent impairment can be determined.Erb's Palsy and Medical Malpractice
Many cases of Erb's palsy are preventable and avoidable. Examples of negligent care on the part of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers that might result in Erb's palsy:
If your son or daughter has an Erb's Palsy injury and you suspect that the injury resulted because a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider failed to provide adequate care during the pregnancy, or during the labor and delivery of your baby, you should immediately contact an attorney.
Law Office of Joseph A. Hernandez, P.C.
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