Even with a well-thought out birth plan, the preferred delivery method is never a definite course of action. Child labor is an unpredictable experience, even if it entails a scheduled induction. No parent wants to endure a difficult childbirth, but if it happens, the healthcare practitioner will take the medical approach most appropriate for achieving the best outcome. If the baby is struggling to travel through the birth canal, sometimes the doctor will gently pull the baby through by hand, medical vacuum or forceps before engaging in a cesarean section.
Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
However, this tactic, if not performed properly, can result in Erb’s Palsy, a condition where the brachial plexus – the network of nerves in the arm – is damaged. Statistics shows that approximately 1 to 2 infants out of every 1,000 develop Erb’s Palsy through medical malpractice. The injury, which entails little to no feeling in the arm and a very long recovery process, can be life-altering. One too many times often, healthcare professionals decide to pull the baby from the birth canal when they should have taken the route of a cesarean section. Medical regulations enforce that only so many pulls are allowed before the method should be abandoned and a C-section performed.
The Medical Malpractice of Erb’s Palsy
There are many errors in the process of pulling the baby out that can be harmful, such as pulling too hard, incorrect placement of the tool, twisting the neck or head and pulling for longer than 15 minutes. It is critical that doctors correctly conduct this delivery procedure, as the body of the baby is extremely fragile. Aside from Erb’s Palsy, other possible injuries that could occur include retinal hemorrhages, skull fractures, bleeding to the brain, seizures and cerebral palsy.
Seek Legal Help
Injury to the brachial plexus can result in the inability to flex or rotate the arm, but it can heal over time, with a recovery span of up to several months or more. However, completely torn nerves may be permanently damaging. Dealing with a child who has Erb’s Palsy can be both devastating and frustrating for the parents because they may be challenged with the high cost of medical bills and being out of work to care for the child around-the-clock. If parents suspect that their child’s Erb’s Palsy is due to medical malpractice, they should seek help from an experienced and skilled birth defects lawyer in Baltimore, MD.
Our law firm has handled a wide variety of birth trauma cases involving damage to the brachial plexus. Our past of working in the medical field has allowed us to understand the healthcare approach firsthand. We do whatever it takes to fight for the rights of our clients and are devoted to helping them achieve the compensation they deserve. If your child has Erb’s Palsy, let us hear your story so we can determine if you have a case.