When you give birth in a California hospital, chances are, your primary goal is having a healthy child. Regrettably, however, this is not always the case, and in some situations, improper delivery techniques and other physician errors lead to medical complications for mother, child or both. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we recognize how upsetting it can be when a doctor’s error causes Erb’s palsy or a similar condition, and we have helped many parents whose children suffered injury during the birthing process pursue appropriate recourse.
Per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Erb’s palsy, which is also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, can result when an infant’s neck stretches too far to one side or the other, which is common during difficult deliveries. This can cause problems within your baby’s nerve network, and it generally occurs in about one or two out of every 1,000 childbirths.
If your baby develops Erb’s palsy during childbirth, he or she may experience weakness in one arm. He or she may also experience a loss of feeling in one arm, or in especially severe cases, your child may experience paralysis in his or her arms. Many children who suffer from Erb’s palsy also have weak hand grips, and some, too, experience a reflex that causes them to raise their arms suddenly when they hear loud noises.
In many cases, children who have Erb’s palsy get better on their own over time, but because nerves grow and recover so slowly, it can prove to be a long, expensive process. Physical therapy often helps babies with Erb’s palsy recover faster, but if your child is not showing signs of getting better after several months, his or her doctor may recommend surgical treatments, such as nerve grafts or transfers. You can find more about medical malpractice on our webpage.