Birth Injuries: Erb’s Palsy

Connecticut Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus Lawyers – Kocian Law Group

You would do anything to protect your child from harm, and you hope those you trust with your child’s care would do the same. Sometimes, however, situations outside of your control lead to your child’s injury. If your child is injured during the birthing process, you may have a claim for medical negligence. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Kocian Law Group can assess your situation and help you seek compensation.

It is an unfortunate fact that doctors who do not follow the standard of care can injure children during delivery. When a baby’s shoulders get stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery, a condition called Erb’s palsy, also known as a brachial plexus injury, can result. Doctors may use any of a number of different techniques to safely deliver a baby stuck in this position. Medical professionals who deliver babies should know these techniques and possess the skill to carry them out without harming your child. At a minimum, these professionals should know which techniques are available and know when to seek help if they cannot safely perform a particular technique themselves.

Sadly, not all babies whose shoulders get stuck during delivery are brought into the world without harm. A medical practitioner or midwife who  pulls too hard on the baby’s head during the delivery process can tear the nerves leading to the shoulder and arm, known as the brachial plexus, away from the child’s spine. This leaves a child who is permanently damaged, with a life time of problems that may require multiple surgeries, medical care, medications, and treatment.

By providing proper pre-natal care, doctors can identify conditions that increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury leading to Erb’s palsy. For example, if a sonogram shows that the baby is very large compared to the size of the mother’s pelvis, plans for a Caesarean section or other intervention may be necessary to avoid permanent harm to the newborn.

An obstetrician, a midwife, or the child’s family will often notice symptoms of birth injuries soon after birth. If a newborn is not moving the arm or hand, if a newborn’s arm is bent at the elbow and held against the body, or if a newborn has decreased grip strength, it could be an indication of injury to the brachial plexus. In addition to contacting your health care provider, you should contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Kocian Law Group.