Erb's palsy occurs when a baby's neck is stretched during delivery, causing injury to the upper nerves of the baby's neck and shoulder. The injury affects the movement of the shoulder, arm and hand and can be mild, resulting in minimal impairment of arm function, or severe, resulting in near total paralysis of the affected arm. Frequently, this injury results from the doctor's failure to exercise reasonable care in the delivery of the baby. When Erb's palsy is the result of medical negligence, the attorneys at Garau Germano, P.C., are able to help.
Erb's Palsy Lawyers Representing Victims Of Birth Injury
Erb's palsy frequently occurs as a result of a condition known as shoulder dystocia. A shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby's shoulders are unable to pass through the birth canal at the time of delivery. The baby's head will deliver, but the body does not follow because one of the shoulders is stuck. A shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency requiring prompt action by the physician delivering the baby because the baby will not be able to breathe until the shoulder dystocia is relieved. If a shoulder dystocia is not promptly relieved, the baby may suffer an anoxic brain injury or even death. However, in relieving the shoulder dystocia, the physician must take care not to apply excessive traction to the baby's head. To do so can injure the nerves of the brachial plexus causing an Erb's palsy.
Medical malpractice may occur if the physician applies excessive traction to the baby's head, or if the delivering doctor fails to employ the appropriate maneuvers to relieve a shoulder dystocia. A claim for medical malpractice may also arise if the doctor fails to heed signs that a shoulder dystocia is likely to occur. Such signs include the size of the baby; whether the mother has previously had births that were complicated by shoulder dystocia; whether the mother is a gestational diabetic; the amount of weight gained by the mother during the course of the pregnancy; and the length of time the mother spends pushing. If there are clear signs that a shoulder dystocia is likely to occur, reasonable care may require the physician to opt for a cesarean delivery of the child in order to avoid encountering a shoulder dystocia and possible injuries associated with it.
Our attorneys have substantial experience handling medical malpractice claims involving Erb's palsy and other injuries associated with shoulder dystocia. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, please contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, law firm today by calling 317-643-4232 or toll free at 800-631-6743.