Richmond Erb’s Palsy Attorney
Erb’s palsy, also known as a brachial plexus injury, is a type of birth injury that is largely preventable. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the arm and when it becomes damaged during the birth process, it may limit a child’s motion in their arm, shoulder, or fingers. Doctors and other healthcare professionals in the labor and delivery room are responsible for properly monitoring the mother and child during the birth process. When they do not, or they otherwise act negligently, it can result in Erb’s palsy. A Richmond Erb’s Palsy Attorney can help families claim the compensation they need after such an injury.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy affects approximately one in every 1,000 infants. The term ‘palsy’ refers to weakness and Erb’s palsy causes weakness in the arm, fingers, and shoulder of infants. This weakness ranges from case to case and could include slight immobility or total paralysis.
Most of the time, Erb’s palsy is caused by healthcare workers that use excessive force when pulling on the infant during birth. Some infants may recover and feeling in the arm, hands, or shoulder may be restored with the help of physical therapy. Unfortunately, some infants never recover.
Types of Erb’s Palsy Injuries
Erb’s palsy is a broad term for a number of different injuries. Although all of these injuries affect the brachial plexus network of nerves, there are four different types. They are as follows:
- Neuropraxia: This injury occurs when a nerve is stretched but it does not rupture. These injuries are not considered very serious and will likely heal on their own in a few months.
- Neuroma: This injury occurs when nerve fibers are damaged and scar tissue forms. The scar tissue may place pressure on a healthy nerve, which causes this condition. While some recovery sometimes occurs with neuroma, infants will never recover completely.
- Rupture: When nerves are stretched excessively, they may tear. These injuries will never heal on their own and typically require surgery.
- Avulsions: Perhaps the worst type of Erb’s palsy injury, this occurs when a nerve completely detaches from the spinal cord. While this injury also requires surgery, an infant may still not fully recover afterwards.
To avoid these injuries from occurring, medical staff are responsible for properly monitoring the mother and child, and assessing the risk factors that may cause a difficult labor or delivery. When they fail to do so, parents can hold members of the medical team liable for medical malpractice.
Our Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyers are Here to Help
If your child was born with Erb’s palsy, it is important to know that you can seek compensation for physical therapy costs, surgery expenses, and more. These cases are always difficult though, and you should never file a claim on your own. At MichieHamlett, our Richmond medical malpractice lawyers can help you through the entire process, ensure your claim is filed properly, and give you the best chance of success. Call us today at (434) 951-7200 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.