Erb’s Palsy Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
A law firm you can trust to fight for your child
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves near the neck that transmit messages from the brain to the arms. When these nerves are damaged during birth, a child may be born with Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy), which causes weakness and loss of motion in the arm, hand and fingers. Some cases of Erb’s palsy are temporary, while others are permanent. The Erb’s palsy injury lawyers at Tyrone Law Firm, PC fight for families affected by this medical condition.
Symptoms of Erb’s palsy
While some cases of Erb’s palsy are temporary, many result in permanent nerve damage. This may mean the child has a lifelong loss of use of the arm. The affected arm may be smaller than the other arm because the nerves in the brachial plexus play some role in growth. Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment may include physical therapy, as well as use of medications or medical devices.
Understanding the causes of Erb’s palsy
Usually, damage to the brachial plexus occurs during labor, particularly if labor is prolonged or difficult. If the baby’s shoulder becomes caught during delivery, the nerves in the shoulder can tear when the baby is pulled out of the mother’s body. Some key risk factors for such an injury include:
- Baby is particularly large relative to the size of the birth canal
- Mother’s pelvis is too narrow (pelvic insufficiency)
- Baby is abnormally positioned
Sometimes, brachial plexus injuries happen after birth, for example if doctors or nurses lift the baby by the arm. Either way, these injuries can be avoided with proper care.
The role of negligence in Erb’s palsy cases
Often, Erb’s palsy occurs when doctors make hasty decisions and pull the baby out of the mother’s body too forcefully. Sometimes, this is because the baby is in distress and there is a risk of brain injury. While damage to the brachial plexus is certainly preferable to damage to the brain, the reality is that if doctors follow standards of care, they can prevent both injuries. For example, with proper monitoring of the fetal heart rate, the doctor can identify signs of distress early and augment labor or order a C-section, rather than resorting to roughly pulling the baby out of the mother and risking a brachial plexus injury.
Erb’s palsy injuries can also occur when doctors misuse forceps or vacuum extractors, causing birth trauma. Or they can happen because the doctor failed to account for signs that the baby should not be born vaginally, such as pelvic insufficiency.
We fight for families impacted by birth injuries
Too many cases of Erb’s palsy are caused by negligence on the part of medical providers. Doctors and nurses have a responsibility to make sure babies are born safely, without injury. While they aren’t expected to be perfect, they are expected to follow standards of care, and too often, those standards are not met.
We know how to fight back. We’ll review records, retain experts and find out what happened to your baby. We’ll also determine the true long-term cost of your child’s injury and fight to hold the doctor or hospital accountable. Recovering money through a lawsuit can help you pay for your child’s care and provide the best possible quality of life. It also sends a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated and helps to protect other Georgia families.
If your child was born with Erb’s palsy and you have any reason to believe a medical professional’s negligence was involved, an Erb’s palsy injury lawyer at our firm can help. We’d be happy to meet with you for a free consultation and to discuss your legal rights and options.