Erb’s palsy, also known as Erb-Duchenne palsy, is a condition that results in partial or complete paralysis of the arm, shoulder, and neck. Erb’s palsy occurs when the brachial plexus nerves, located in the shoulder, are stretched, torn, or damaged during delivery. Often, this happens when a doctor or nurse stretches a newborn’s neck incorrectly or too far to one side during delivery. This seemingly simple mistake can have serious, life-long consequences for the child, including weakness, loss of feeling, and the complete inability to use his or her arm.
If your infant was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy after a difficult labor or delivery, you may be able to take legal action against the negligent parties. At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we have decades of experience handling these types of birth injury cases and have helped families throughout the state recover the just compensation they were owed. Our proven track record of success speaks for itself. Reach out to our New Hampshire Erb’s palsy attorneys to find out how our team can assist you. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call (603) 323-4622 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
How Is Erb’s Palsy Diagnosed?
There are several symptoms of Erb’s palsy, ranging from mild to severe, that are used to diagnose the condition. Symptoms will depend on the type and extent of nerve damage, which can include anything from simple nerve stretching to tears to scar tissue development to complete avulsion, or severing of the nerve from the spinal cord.
Some of the most common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include:
- Numbness or weakness in the arm
- Weakened hand/grip strength on affected side
- Loss of feeling in one arm and/or hand
- Affected arm is bent at elbow and/or held close to the body
- Impaired movement of the affected arm
- Partial or complete paralysis of the affected arm/hand
Symptoms can appear immediately after the injury occurs, but may also appear gradually as an unexplained onset of weakness, tenderness, or loss of feeling in one arm. Symptoms may not even be noticeable for a number of years until your child starts to show signs of favoring one arm over the other.
There are a few tests used to diagnose Erb’s palsy. Doctors may order X-rays, electromyography (EMGs), magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), or computerized tomography (CT) myelography. They may also run nerve conduction studies (NCS) in conjunction with EMGs. These tests are used to measure the extent and severity of nerve damage, the exact location of the injury, and other relevant issues.
Call our dedicated team of birth injury lawyers in Manchester at (603) 323-4622 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy
Minor Erb’s palsy is very treatable. In very mild cases, infants will generally recover with minimal or no treatment in as little as three to six months after the injury occurred. If, after six months a child still shows signs of nerve damage, physical and/or occupational therapy can be used to help the child regain mobility and build muscle strength with everyday activities.
In more severe cases, however, surgery may be required to treat Erb’s palsy. This is typically the case when a child suffers partial or complete paralysis in the affected arm and/or hand. The most common type of surgery used to treat Erb’s palsy involves nerve grafting, in which an undamaged nerve is taken from another part of the body and used to repair the damaged nerve. In most cases, the child will require occupational and/or physical therapy after the surgery is complete. It is also important that the surgery takes place soon after the injury occurs, as the success rate drops dramatically when surgery does not occur within six months of the injury.
Contact Our Team Today. We are Ready to Defend Your Child's Rights!
If your child shows signs of Erb’s palsy, it is important that you act quickly in order to better his or her chances of making a full recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment are important, however, they are not always possible as some children do not show signs of Erb’s palsy until much later.
Regardless of your circumstances, you may be able to take legal action if your child’s injury was the result of medical negligence. At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we can help you understand your options and work to hold the responsible parties accountable. While compensation cannot negate the injury itself, it can help pay for the crucial medical treatment your child needs. Recovery can also help ensure that negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals are made liable for their reckless or careless actions.
Contact our New Hampshire Erb’s palsy lawyers today for a free consultation. Call (603) 323-4622 to get started.