When a woman becomes pregnant, she spends the next nine months preparing for the happy arrival of her new baby. Excellent prenatal care provided by our nation’s OB-GYN doctors is part of the process that ensures mother and baby will both experience a smooth delivery. But although more than 4 million babies are born in the U.S. every year, medical mistakes can and do occur in the final hours and moments of delivery.
Erb’s Palsy — also known as Erbs Paralysis, Shoulder Dystocia, and Brachial Plexus — occurs when difficulties arise during vaginal birth, causing damage to the baby’s nerves at the C5 and C6 vertebrae. These nerves extend from the spinal cord down the arm and affect the movement of the shoulder, arm and hand. Estimates indicate that one of every 1,000 babies born experiences an Erbs palsy injury.
The effects can range from limited mobility of the shoulder, arm, and hand on the child’s affected side, to more severe paralysis where the child has no muscle control or feeling in the affected shoulder, arm, wrist or hand. Other complications sometimes accompany Complete Brachial Plexus Palsy, where more extensive nerve damage causes the child to experience facial and/or eyelid drooping, favor the undamaged side of the body, and/or not be able to face forward for any length of time.
Erbs palsy injuries can require multiple surgeries to treat, creating strain and stress on families and on the innocent children affected. The experienced Florida Erbs Palsy lawyers at the Law Offices of Chalik and Chalik are versed in the medical malpractice laws protecting consumers and patients in Fort Myers. All doctors are held to certain standards of medical care and are required to inform their patients of potential risks and to present their patients with options. Please contact us if you think you may have a case.
Causes of Erbs Paralysis Injuries During Childbirth
Erb’s palsy injuries are preventable. These types of birthing injuries occur when there is excessive traction during vaginal birth and/or when the baby’s shoulder gets “stuck” on the mother’s pubic bone (this is known as shoulder dystocia). “Big babies” (those who weigh more than 8 pounds) are more at risk for these types of injuries. Conditions that may contribute to a woman having difficulties during vaginal birth include…
- Previous difficult births
- Previous large babies
- Previous need for Cesarean section (C-section) birth
- Prolonged gestation
The OB-GYN doctor should make every effort possible to learn the patient’s medical history and to inform the patient about her choices before delivery day arrives. Doctors will sometimes gain patients’ “informed consent” to perform Cesarean section births if they feel there is an increased risk for birthing emergencies with traditional vaginal delivery.
Seek Guidance from a Fort Myers Erbs Palsy Lawyer
Erbs palsy injuries can cause years of pain and hardship for children and their families. If the injury occurred due to the negligence or malpractice of a physician in the state of Florida, that doctor may be held responsible.
If you believe your child may have suffered Erbs palsy, Erb’s paralysis, brachial plexus or other injuries during childbirth, please contact the caring, experienced Florida Birth Injuries lawyers at Chalik & Chalik today for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries and medical expenses, as well as damages.