During childbirth, a mother trusts her doctor to make sure that the delivery goes as smoothly as possible, as a difficult delivery can have long-lasting effects on a child’s physical and mental health. For instance, Erb’s Palsy is a condition that can cause lifelong nerve damage and decrease arm function. If a doctor does not help prevent this occurrence, the child’s parents may have a medical malpractice case against the hospital or treating physician. Here is an in-depth look at Erb’s Palsy:
Causes and Symptoms
During delivery, an infant’s neck or shoulders may be stretched in different directions during delivery. This specifically happens during a headfirst delivery where the neck and head are pulled toward one side of the birth canal. This strain injures the brachial plexus network of nerves and can cause life-long arm and neck issues. A strong strain to these nerves during birth may result in weakness, loss of motion, lack of arm development, or even permanent paralysis. Statistically, two out of every 1,000 babies suffer Erb’s Palsy as the direct result of a difficult birth.
Early Detection is Essential
One of the most important ways to prevent Erb’s Palsy is through early detection. Your doctor should be able to determine whether you fit the at-risk criteria for this condition and decide against a vaginal birth. If your doctor did not warn you of the possibility of this condition and did not suggest a cesarean section, you may be able to file a lawsuit and ask for compensation to cover your child’s future medical expenses.