Erb's Palsy Attorney in Seattle
Childbirth can be a precarious time for a fetus, and a doctor's error or a birth injury can leave your child with injuries that can last a lifetime. If your child has suffered a birth injury during delivery, your entire family's future may be impacted. You could be facing mounting medical bills, future surgeries, and a lifetime of special care. In such a case, a birth injury lawsuit may be needed to secure your family's future.
To get the settlement that will compensate for those medical costs and other damages, you'll need the representation of an experienced birth injury attorney in Washington. Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has been successfully representing Seattle area families for four decades. To find out more about your legal rights and options, call our office at (888) 228-3860 today for a free consultation.
Erb's Palsy, or Erb–Duchenne palsy, is an arm injury that occurs when the brachial plexus, a network of nerves in the shoulder, is damaged. This can cause varying degrees of paralysis in the arm and sometimes the child's trunk. Erb's palsy occurs about twice in every 1,000 births.
Erb's Palsy may not be immediately recognized at birth, but its symptoms may begin to reveal themselves not long after. You should take your child to a pediatrician if you notice and of the following symptoms:
- The baby's arm may be limp, bent at the elbow, or held against the side of the body
- Weakness or soreness of the affected arm
- A decreased ability to grip with the hand of the affected arm
- Full or partial paralysis of the arm
- Lack of sensory function in the upper arm
- Lack of motor function in the upper arm
- Numbness of the arm
- Impaired circulatory, muscular, and nerve development
In rare cases, Erb's Palsy may be caused by the fetus remaining in an improper position for too long in the uterus. In even more rare cases, a tumor in the mother's pelvis may damage the brachial plexus. For the most part, however, Erb's Palsy is caused by physician error during delivery. Common doctor and midwife errors include the following:
- Delivery physicians or midwives pulling too hard on an infant's shoulders during a head-first delivery
- Delivery physicians or midwife pulling too hard on the feet during a breech birth and putting excessive pressure on the arms and the brachial plexus when the baby moves through the birth canal
- Delivery physician or midwives improperly positioning or angling the baby's body during delivery
- Delivery physicians negligent use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Delivery placing too much force on the brachial plexus for too long
- Failure to predict shoulder dystocia
- Failure to consider C-section
- Failure to promptly perform a safe caesarean section
With prompt and proper medical care, involving extensive physical therapy, 70 to 80 percent of Erb's Palsy cases will clear up in a year or so. In some cases, surgeries to clear scar tissue or perform nerve grafts may be needed. In severe cases, a child may suffer from Erb's Palsy's physical and emotional effects for years to come.
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to physician error, you and your family deserve to be compensated. The Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help you get a settlement worthy of your child's injury. Call (888) 228-3860 today for a free case evaluation.
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