Understanding How Malpractice Contributes to Erb’s Palsy


One in every 1,000 children is born with Erb’s Palsy, a frustrating and damaging condition that their doctor may have caused by negligent behavior. Therefore, an Erb’s Palsy malpractice case may require the help of a lawyer to ensure that parents and their child get the compensation that they deserve.

How Erb’s Palsy Affects a Child

Erb’s Palsy is a condition that disrupts a child’s mobility when damage to the nerves in the shoulder or head develop during birth. The child will be able to move their arm and shoulder – thankfully – but they will be unnaturally weak. The child may have a hard time handling basic hand-eye-coordination steps and may also struggle with fine motor skills with that hand, even as they develop stronger skills elsewhere.

The severity of this condition will vary depending on how much the nerves are damaged. For instance, a stretched nerve can heal and eventually get back to its normal strength. Unfortunately, severe stretching or even tears in the nerve may never heal and leave a child with a debilitating and lifelong affliction. When this happens, a child may struggle to use their limb and it may atrophy.

Some severe cases even cause a complete tear of the nerve in the shoulder. In these types of rare cases, the nerve will never heal and cannot be reattached leading to paralysis. While not that common, this problem is one that can affect children and make their life very challenging. And the cause of this condition? Almost always the doctor delivering the child at birth.

Ways a Doctor Causes This Problem

Most of the time, a doctor is the cause of this type of physical injury. It typically occurs when the child is being pulled and stretched in problematic ways when going through the birth canal. For instance, if the child’s head is turned during birth, the doctor may have to adjust their position and attempt to pull them out in a problematic way. If approached properly, this type of delivery should not result in Erb’s Palsy because the physician should be skilled enough to prevent injury.

However, some doctors may not have the appropriate skills needed to deliver a child in this condition. Unfortunately, this may mean that the baby’s shoulders are unnaturally stretched or pulled too harshly by the doctor. When this happens, it is very easy for the nerves here to get injured and damaged, potentially leading to the development of Erb’s Palsy symptoms. The severity of this injury will vary depending on the baby.

And when a doctor contributes to this condition through poor or negligent birth procedures, parents can pursue a lawsuit. They need to prove that the doctor behaved in a way that was negligent and that any reasonable and properly trained doctor wouldn’t have done. They can sue for many types of claims, including medical bills, personal emotional suffering, and much more. It is crucial to get this type of compensation for the needs of the child and their parents.

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