Labor and delivery can be a stressful and challenging period not just for the mother, but also for the baby. There are a number of injury risks that surface as the child makes its way out of the mother’s womb. One of the most common birth injuries that occurs during a difficult labor is brachial plexus injury or Erb’s palsy. These injuries occur when the nerves that are responsible for sending the signals from the spine to the arm, shoulder and hand are stressed or torn away from the spinal cord. These types of injuries often result in permanent injuries and disabilities for children.
Permanent Issues in a Brachial Plexus Injury
Here are some of the permanent injuries and/or disabilities affecting children who suffer brachial plexus birth injuries:
Chronic pain: This is unfortunately a common complication of brachial plexus injuries that are suffered at birth. This pain is the consequence of nerve damage and is often long lasting. Chronic pain is any pain that continues long after its cause has ended or has been resolved. When it lasts for three to six months or more, it is called chronic pain. When individuals hurt day after day, it may take a toll on their physical and emotional health.
About 25 percent of people with chronic pain will go on to have a condition called chronic pain syndrome or CPS, which means they will likely have symptoms beyond pain alone, such as depression and anxiety, that interfere with their daily lives. CPS can be challenging to treat. Individuals may need a variety of treatments such as counseling, physical therapy and relaxation techniques to address this.
Stiff joints: Erb’s palsy often results in paralysis of the hand or arm. When this occurs, the joints can become stiff, making movement difficult. This may happen even if patients regain the use of their limb. Most children who suffer a brachial plexus injury at birth will require extensive physical therapy. Therapy costs can add up very quickly especially when children have long-term or ongoing issues as a result of brachial plexus injuries.
Loss of feeling: Infants who suffer brachial plexus palsy may experience loss of feeling and sensation in the areas affected by nerve damage. This also means that they may run the risk of burning themselves or suffering some other type of injury because they don’t have feeling or sensation in the area.
Muscle atrophy: After a brachial plexus injury, nerves that grow slowly may take several years to heal, if ever. This may cause muscles to degenerate and break down because of lack of use. Depending on severity, physical rehabilitation may be advised. In cases of muscle atrophy, anabolic steroids may also be utilized to promote muscle growth.
Disabilities: A number of children who suffer from brachial plexus injuries will likely experience permanent disabilities. These children may become paralyzed or suffer weakness and lack of mobility in the arm, shoulder and hand, affecting their quality of life and their ability to participate in sports and other activities such as earning a living later in life. The length of time taken to recover from these types of injuries depends on the location and severity of the injury. Unfortunately, some children who suffer brachial plexus injuries suffer permanent lifetime disabilities.
Contacting an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
When Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy occur as a result of medical negligence, families may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. If your child has suffered an arm injury at birth or has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of livelihood, hospital and rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to the doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation hospitals deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or erb’s palsy stemming from negligence and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children. The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-31 BIGGEST HOSPITAL IN THE WORLD
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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