The birth of a baby should be an exhilarating moment for your family but when complications arise during labor and delivery, unexpected and tragic injuries can occur. Some complications cannot be prevented, even with the best medical care in New York, but others can be caused by instances of medical negligence, or a failure of your NY medical provider to meet the established standards of care.
Among those difficult complications is the injury known as Erb’s Palsy—also known as Brachial Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a preventable birth injury. Our office has been extremely successful in proving Erb’s Palsy is preventable.
If your child suffers from Erb’s Palsy, medical malpractice probably played a role, and the New York lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. can help. Contact us at (516) 342-2200 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.
Erb’s Palsy is an injury that occurs when nerves in the shoulder region (brachial plexus) suffer physical trauma. The nerves may stretch to varying degrees, the worst of which may result in a complete tear from the spinal cord.
Erb’s Palsy takes place during a difficult delivery. What occurs is that the head delivers without a problem. After the delivery of the head, the baby gets stuck. Technically what occurs is that the anterior shoulder becomes impacted under the mother’s pelvic bone. This is called shoulder dystocia.
Once that impaction occurs, it is the responsibility of the physician, obstetrician or midwife delivering the baby to recognize shoulder dystocia and go through a series of maneuvers that are designed to safely release the impacted shoulder. The remainder of the baby will deliver with ease once the shoulder is released.
Unfortunately, in many cases the doctor or obstetrician delivering the baby panics and places his hands on the baby, exerting traction on the head in an attempt to get the rest of the baby out. It is this traction on the head that stretches the brachial plexus, damaging it and causing Erb’s Palsy.
Erb’s Palsy can be identified by a number of serious symptoms, including:
- Paralysis of the shoulders, arms or hands;
- Reduced muscle control in the shoulders, arms or hands;
- Loss of sensation in the shoulders, arms or hands;
- A misaligned or “winged” shoulder blade;
- Stunted growth of the arms or hands;
- Reduced strength in the arm or hands;
- Reduced fine motor coordination.
Erb’s Palsy often requires extensive physical therapy and corrective surgeries, so it’s vital that physicians do everything in their power to prevent this debilitating birth injury from occurring in the first place.
Often, Erb’s Palsy could have been prevented if New York, NY medical personnel had taken the proper precautions to monitor the mother prior to delivery. One of the primary concerns is the size of the baby because a larger baby is more likely to become stuck during delivery. Doctors who follow accepted standards of medical care understand what risk factors to watch out for, including:
- Large pre-birth weight of baby;
- Mother’s history of delivering large babies;
- Pre-existing maternal diabetes;
- Mother’s excessive weight gain during pregnancy;
- An abnormally long gestation period.
If your child has Erb’s Palsy, medical malpractice is probably the cause, and the responsible doctor or hospital must be held accountable. We have been uniformly successful in demonstrating that a brachial plexus injury or Erb’s Palsy can be avoided. Over the past 30 years we have successfully handled a multitude of New York cases like this – and we can help you. A lawsuit won’t undo the damage your baby has already suffered, but you may be eligible for money damages to help pay for your child’s long-term medical needs.
When you’re fighting for justice on behalf of an injured child, you need the New York lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. at your side. With over 150 years of combined experience, our attorneys are well-prepared to handle all your legal needs. Call us at (516) 342-2200 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!