Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s Palsy) is a condition that occurs often times as the result of an injury during birth. It is characterized either by weakness or paralysis in the arm depending on the severity of the case. It results from damage that occurs to the nerves of the brachial plexus.
Your doctor or obstetrician has a duty to recognize the risks that may lead to such injuries and take preventive measures before during and after the delivery. If your child has sustained this type of birth injury, it is likely that it was the result of medical negligence (carelessness). If you suspect your doctor failed to recognize the symptoms of brachial plexus palsy or failed to prevent what was an avoidable injury during birth, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced brachial plexus palsy lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Possible Treatments for brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s Palsy)
Often, we see that brachial plexus palsy treatments and therapies can make a difference in the child’s quality of life. The success of the treatment and therapy varies depending on the severity of the injury and how soon the intervention was implemented. Treatment options for brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s Palsy) depends on the severity of the injury.
Physical therapy: This is the most common treatment for Erb’s palsy. Your child’s physical therapy sessions should ideally be conducted with a professional physical therapist who specializes in caring for children. In severe cases, physical therapy may also be accompanied by surgery. Your child’s physical therapy may include gentle stretching, massage, sensory stimulation, range-of-motion exercises and exercises to build strength in the affected areas.
Your therapist will begin working with your child and then teach you how you can keep the exercise regimen going at home. Here are some of the main goals of physical therapy:
• Identifying muscle weakness: By using specific tests, the therapist can evaluate the location and severity of your child’s injury to make sure that the exercise regimen will be effective.
• Education: For parents, this may be a process of learning. Parents may require instructions on how to hold, carry and play with their baby in a way that will minimize pain and maximize healing.
• Preventing further injury: Your physical therapist should also inform you about possible injuries that may occur if the exercises are not continued. Some therapists will also provide a holistic plan for your child’s well-being that will include nutrition and community involvement.
Recreational therapy: As your child grows, he or she should be encouraged to participate in normal recreational activities such as sports so they don’t feel left out. Recreational therapists can help your child with various activities such as picking up, throwing, swimming, climbing or even eating.
Occupational therapy: This type of therapy is usually provided after a child undergoes surgery and is recommended for children who have suffered long-term damage. An occupational therapist will work closely with your child and help him or her with routine and daily activities such as eating, playing, writing, drawing, tying shoes, etc. This type of therapy may require specialized equipment and parents will typically be provided with instructions to continue the therapy at home.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary. The primary purpose of surgery is to repair nerve damage and to relieve pressure on the nerves of the brachial plexus. If possible, physicians will try to avoid operating on younger patients. But, sometimes, surgery may be the only option. There are two types of surgery that are commonly used to treat brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s Palsy). Nerve compression is a minimally-invasive procedure where a specialized surgical instrument is inserted through a small incision to decompress the affected nerves. Nerve graft repairs involve taking healthy sensory nerves from another part of the body and used as grafting material to repair the damaged brachial plexus nerves.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If your child has brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy), he or she may be able to receive compensation that may help 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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