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When to Consult with an Erb’s Palsy Attorney

By Frank Torres Subscribe to RSS | December 5th 2011 | Views:

Your child is now a toddler and has difficulty holding objects in his hands and complains of constant numbness in his shoulder. You had a difficult labor and delivery, but the baby was born healthy and no one mentioned any problems. Only now, when you see your child struggling with fine motor skills you recall the frantic attempts of the physician to pull the baby out of you, tugging on his head. Could the doctor’s actions have caused an injury to your child? Contacting an Erb’s Palsy attorney for a consultation may provide you with some answers and give your important information to consider, such as:

a. Erb’s Palsy is caused by trauma during the delivery

Erb’s Palsy is a condition also known as Brachial Palsy and involves the baby’s shoulders. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, you have the right to know what happened and how the injury could have been caused. During the birthing process, even though the head of the newborn may have appeared, the rest of the body gets trapped and is unable to come out. Usually part of the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck under the mother’s pelvic bone and the stretching of the nerves in the process of pulling the baby out may cause Erb’s Palsy.

b. What are the symptoms of Erb’s Palsy and how is it treated?

Depending on the severity of Erb’s Palsy, it can be manifested by the following symptoms:

1. Paralysis of shoulder

2. Inability to control the shoulder

3. Inability to feel sensation in the shoulder

4. Lack of strength in the shoulder

5. Lack of fine motor skills

Erb’s Palsy is treated with rigorous physical and occupational therapy, and many children go on to require further surgeries, since the trauma to the shoulder could be so severe as to cause a complete detachment from the spinal cord. Erb’s Palsy attorneys, working closely with the medical experts, can review the child’s birth records to see how the condition could have occurred and opinion on its severity.

c. How could Erb’s Palsy have been prevented?

The doctor should realize if the shoulder of the baby is stuck during labor and delivery. There are a series of prescribed steps that health care professionals are advised to take in order to safely release the shoulder and take the baby out. However, a physician may panic and start to pull on the baby’s head causing the stretching that may lead to Erb’s Palsy. Since this is a preventable condition an Erb’s Palsy attorney will be able to ascertain, based on pre-delivery weight of the fetus if there was high probability that the baby would get trapped and a c-section would have been a safer way to proceed.

d. What is my time to sue the doctor?

New York places strict limits on the time to start medical malpractice lawsuits against physicians. Very often Erb’s Palsy is not diagnosed until the child is a couple of years old, since the fine motor skills and coordination skills are developed during that period. An Erb’s Palsy attorney will be able to sue the negligent doctor for damages, which may include lifelong pain and suffering, as well as long-term medical treatment and care.

Frank Torres - About Author:
At Duffy and Duffy - Erb's palsy attorney , our Erb's palsy lawyers have the experience to help families whose child has been the victim of Erb's palsy. Call us at 516.394.4200 or visit us at

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