Erb’s Palsy Claims in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
Erb’s palsy is one of the most common birth injuries in the United States. This injury is caused by excessive stretching of your child’s brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that control shoulder, arm and hand movement. The condition is a frequent result of medical malpractice.
There are four types of injuries that can result from overstretching the brachial plexus:
- Avulsion – occurring when a nerve is torn from the spine.
- Rupture – occurring when a nerve tears, but stays attached to the spine.
- Neuroma – a result of a rupture, neuroma occurs when a torn nerve attempts to repair itself and develops scar tissue around the injury.
- Praxis – occurs when damage does not result in a tear. Praxis generally heals on its own within three months.
Depending on the severity of your child’s injury, Erb’s palsy may result in long-term or permanent disability and a lifetime of medical expenses and other effects. With resources spanning the country, The Cochran Firm DC’s injury attorneys have the experience and talent necessary to hold negligent healthcare providers responsible who cause Erb’s palsy in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
If You’ve Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice:
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy can be caused by medical negligence. Erb’s palsy commonly results from a condition known as shoulder dystocia. In shoulder dystocia, your baby’s shoulders become stuck against your pelvic bone during delivery. There are accepted standards for delivering a baby experiencing this complication, and other actions taken in this situation can result in Erb’s palsy.
It is possible that your doctor was caught unawares, and did not foresee this complication. However, the potential for shoulder dystocia is easily recognizable during pregnancy by factors including:
- Fetal pre-birth weight of more than eight pounds, 14 ounces
- Maternal diabetes
- Maternal obesity or maternal weight gain of more than 35 pounds
- Gestation for more than 40 weeks
- Short maternal stature
- Maternal contracted or flat pelvis
No matter the cause of shoulder dystocia or if it was a known risk factor prior to delivery, all medical professionals attending the birth of your child have a duty to provide you with a procedure that minimizes risk and takes a reasonable course of action when responding to unforeseen circumstances.