Erb's Palsy Due to Birth Injury?

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(312) 957-4166

Erb's palsy affects 1 to 2 babies out of every 1,000 in the U.S. each year.

It is a condition also known as brachial palsy, Erb-Duchenned paralysis, or Klumpke paralysis.

What is Erb's Palsy?

Erb's Palsy is a condition caused by a physical injury during childbirth. Depending on the severity of the injury, it's effects can range from mild to severe. It is a type of brachial plexus disorder. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your arms, hands and shoulders. With Erb's palsy, the injury occurs at Erb's point, which is the area near the baby's neck where the 5th and 6th cranial nerves come together, thus creating the upper section of the brachial plexus.

When this section is injured, infants typically aren't able to move the affected upper arm or shoulder, but they may be able to slightly move their fingers. If they aren't able to move it at all, then the injury has affected the spinal cord's ability to send signals to the arm, hand, wrist, or fingers.

Causes of Erb's Palsy

It typically occurs due to a difficult labor and delivery. It can happen in three ways:

  1. If the baby passes through the birth canal at an awkward angle. For instance, the head may be turned one way while the arm is pulled in another direction.
  2. If the baby is delivered face first and there is excessive pulling on the shoulders.
  3. If the baby is delivered breech, feet or buttocks first, and the arms are pulled backwards over the head.

In all of these cases, the baby's head and shoulders are pulled with excessive force, and are stretched causing nerve damage.

Risk Factors of Erb's Palsy

While the injury to the baby comes from excessive pulling or stretching of the neck and/or head during delivery, there are some factors that increase the risk of Erb's Palsy. If the infant develops shoulder dystocia, the chances of developing Erb's Palsy tripple.

Some other risk factors include:

If a doctor fails to detect, monitor, or treat a pregnancy where these risk factors are high, he or she should be held accountable when an injury results.

Symptoms of Erb's Palsy

The condition is evident because a baby with Erb's Palsy will have weakness in the arm and may not even be able to move it. The severity of injury ranges from weakness or soreness to a total loss of feeling and movement. The most common signs and symptoms include:

When a baby is suspected of having Erb's Palsy or an injury to the brachial plexus, he or she should be seen by a physician that specializes in this type of injury. Depending on the severity, the treatment for Erb's Palsy should be tailored to meet the needs of the child. Surgery may be necessary as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy and the need to see a neurologist and/or neurosurgeon.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child has Erb's Palsy due to a birth injury, you have legal rights and options. Your child could suffer from the long-term effects associated with the condition and may need life-long medical treatment as a result.

At Willens Law Offices, we are experienced with many different types of birth injuries. Call us today at (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your case today.

$10,000,000 Chicago Birth Injury Settlement

The plaintiff went to a Chicago hospital for delivery of twins via cesarean section. In the delivery room, a suspicious rash was recognized on one of the twins and later, fecal and urine cultures confirmed the presence of candida. She was started on prophylactic anti-fungal medicine and is healthy. The other twin was clear of any rash and though she was at risk for fungal infection, she was not treated in a timely manner. Later, a head ultrasound and MRI confirmed the diagnosis and damage to her brain. A lawsuit was filed on the plaintiff’s behalf. The case was vigorously defended by lawyers for the physician and the hospital that he worked for over 3 years. Eventually, a mediation took place at which time the defendants offered $3,000,000 to settle, which the plaintiff rejected. It was not until trial that the case settled for $10,000,000.

A Team of Legal Experts You Can Trust

Birth injury cases are among the most complicated medical malpractice cases to litigate. With years of experience in birth trauma litigation our legal team has the skills, the resources and experience necessary to address and win a wide variety of birth injury cases. Our legal team has secured millions of dollars in compensation for birth injury victims.

Access To Top Experts

With decades of hands-on experience working with top healthcare professionals in labor and delivery, our legal team has access to some of the top medical professionals in the world. As in many types of medical malpractice cases, high quality expert are essential in obtaining justice.

Birth Injury Is Our Passion

Our firm was established to focus on the unique needs of our clients. We work with top medical, life-planning, and forensics experts to determine the causes and extent of injuries, prognoses of victims, and areas of medical negligence. Our passion for helping birth injury victims allows our attorneys to deliver unrivaled legal services for your family.

Contact Willens Law Offices

Willens Law Offices have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future.
We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.

Willens Law Offices
30 N LaSalle St #3450
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 957-4166

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