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Erb's palsy: causes, symptoms and dealing with the aftermath

We provided some basic information regarding Erb's palsy in a post from 2014, noting in our October 27 entry of that year that an affected infant's parents "may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim."

We revisit the topic in today's post to both reiterate its seriousness and to remind a birth injury victim's family that Erb's palsy can often result from a medical negligence act or omission on the part of an obstetrician or other member of a delivery team.

Indeed, the potential for Erb's palsy complications during birth is often foreseeable, as noted in an online overview discussing this singular birth injury. That primer notes that the possibility of Erb's palsy might be reasonably contemplated in situations like the following:

  • When it is clear that a baby's birth weight will be above average
  • When shoulder dystocia becomes an issue during delivery and is not properly addressed by delivery team members
  • When a cesarean section delivery is reasonably indicated, but is bypassed in favor of a vaginal birth
  • When undue pressure is exerted on a newborn's brachial plexus (nerve grouping running from the spinal cord through the arms and hands) through the use of forceps or a vacuum-device

While a financial recovery cannot begin to compensate for a newborn's injury suffered as the result of medical negligence, many families of injured babies are greatly aided by damage verdicts or settlements.  The funds can pay for medical costs, provide for needed therapy and rehabilitation, and help an injury victim with long-term care if that is needed.

Moreover, a legal remedy for medical negligence can put the spotlight on shoddy medical care and send a deterrent message that can reduce risks in the future.

Individuals and families with questions or concerns regarding a birth injury or any other type of medical negligence can obtain candid guidance and zealous legal representation from a proven personal injury attorney who deals regularly with medical malpractice incidents and claims.

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