Brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy stems from injuries to the nerves in the neck, shoulder and arms. This is often caused by a traumatic injury of some kind during labor and delivery and frequently due to medical negligence (carelessness). When a child develops brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) for instance, due to a medical professional improperly using birth-assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors and/or applying excessive force, then the affected parties can seek compensation for medical malpractice.
What is Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s Palsy)?
Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) is a type of paralysis or weakness in the muscles of the arms. In a majority of cases, this happens because of stretched or severed nerves in the brachial plexus. There are four types of brachial plexus injuries that may lead to Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy):
Neuropraxia: This is the most common type of nerve injury where the nerve is simply pulled or stretched.
Neuroma: This is a more serious injury where the nerve is stretched to such a degree that some of the fibers break. Because of the scar tissue that forms when these types of breaks heal, the nerve can cause great pain. These types of injuries may never heal completely.
Rupture: This type of injury occurs when the nerve is torn. This injury is not something that will heal on its own. It often requires surgery where the nerve is spliced back together. Without this, the arm may become paralyzed.
Avulsion: This is the most serious type of brachial plexus injury where the nerve is completely ripped from the spinal cord. In some cases, the nerves within the diaphragm can be affected leading to breathing problems.
Some of the common symptoms of brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy include a weak arm and limited grip strength and restricted development of the circulatory system, nervous system and muscles. The arms may hang by the side of the body or rotate inwards. The child may also have limited motion in the shoulder, arm or wrist. In some cases, the arm may be completely paralyzed.
How Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) Can Affect Your Child’s Life
This type of injury can have a lasting impact on a victim’s life. If it becomes permanent paralysis, it might limit the activities you may be involved in or the jobs you can perform. For example, Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) may stop someone from being able to play sports that require use of both arms. Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) may also affect an individual’s job prospects. For example, if a certain job requires arm strength to perform well, Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) might very well limit you.
There are also social implications when it comes to growing up with Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy). It might affect your child’s social life. Children may experience teasing or bullying because of their disabilities and this may affect them psychologically. So, it is important for parents to talk to children about what they are going through in school. Also, a medical malpractice lawyer will be an invaluable resource for affected parents and can help guide them as they seek compensation for their child’s injuries.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If your child has Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy), he or she may be able to receive compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, 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 (appeals) 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 doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), 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 718-245-3131
• 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
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