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Erb’s palsy is a condition that occurs during childbirth. It is a form of paralysis to the arms resulting from either a difficult birth or medical malpractice. In New Jersey, roughly two out of every 1000 births result in this condition. Other terms used include shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus palsy.
Shoulder dystocia is a telling expression because the cause of this birth defect involves the baby’s shoulder becoming lodged against the mother’s pelvic bone. When this happens, quick action is needed to prevent suffocation. However, if the delivery person is too aggressive, the collarbone can become dislocated or even break. This causes damage to the nerve endings related to the C5-C7 spinal roots. This damage most often results in:
Other symptoms of this condition often include:
In most cases, Erb’s palsy birth defects heal over time, but for about one in 10, the condition is life-long. In both cases, treatments are necessary, expensive, and time-consuming. Aside from regular visits to the doctor, medications, and occupational and physical therapy are needed. Even with good insurance, the long-term costs are staggering.
Erb’s Palsy can result from a difficult childbirth and in such cases, few would place blame on the delivering physician. However, the condition is often the result of poorly trained delivery personnel or overly aggressive tactics in removing the infant. For instance, if the child is of high birth weight or the mother is overweight, the risk is higher. In these cases, doctors often decide in advance to schedule a caesarean section (C-section).
Brachial plexus palsy need not happen even in emergency situations. There are currently 16 known techniques to free the shoulder safely without causing harm to the mother or child.
If your child exhibits any of the symptoms described above, you need an attorney with experience in handling medical malpractice in New Jersey. Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. help people just like you throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including South Jersey and Camden County. If your child suffers from Erb’s Palsy, you need help. If the cause of the condition is medical malpractice, you have a right to seek compensation. Contact us online or call 856-354-9444 now to schedule a consultation.