Different doctors have different methods for delivering a baby. However, bad technique or panicky decisions can result in nerve damage known as Erb’s palsy. The child’s arm may be permanently paralyzed or disabled, a tragedy that in most cases could have been prevented.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, is committed to holding OB-GYN doctors accountable for birth injuries. We aggressively pursue compensation for the lifelong care needs, the family’s hardships and quality of life enhancements for the child.
Erb’s palsy is a birth injury caused by nerve damage to the brachial plexus, a large network of nerves running from the spinal cord to the arms and shoulders. Brachial plexus injuries usually occur during the birth process when one or both of the infant’s shoulders are lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone during birth. This is called shoulder dystocia. The nerve injury is caused when the physician pulls on the baby’s head while the shoulder is stuck in the birth canal.
Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy and other shoulder dystocia injuries involve loss of feeling and some degree of paralysis, but they vary in severity:
Erb’s palsy can be heart-breaking for the parents and seriously disabling for the child, particularly when one arm is completely paralyzed or both arms are compromised.
In our experience, physicians and insurers commonly give parents other explanations for Erb’s palsy rather than fessing up to errors. Our legal team is familiar with the common risk factors and the errors that lead to brachial plexus injuries. We also have a network of top experts in obstetrical medicine (labor and delivery) who can attest how the medical professionals harmed your baby.
Shoulder dystocia can occur in any vaginal delivery with any size baby, but is more common with a larger baby, particularly when the mother is diabetic. Most brachial plexus injuries are preventable by recognizing when the baby’s shoulder has been impacted and not pulling on the baby’s head once this occurs. Instead there are a variety of obstetrical maneuvers designed to free the shoulder and allow delivery without a brachial plexus injury. The most common mistakes are either failing to recognize that a shoulder dystocia has occurred in the first place or in putting excessive traction on the baby’s head after a shoulder dystocia has been recognized. However, in the rare case where the shoulder dystocia is severe and the obstetrical maneuvers do not work, there may be no alternative but to pull on the head in order to save the baby’s life. Usually, though, there is ample time to take the steps to correct the dystocia or perform a C-section delivery instead.
We advocate for injured newborns in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens and throughout New York City. Our Long Island medical malpractice lawyer, Richard Jaffe, has more than 20 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation and has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
There is no cost to you to have your case reviewed by our experts. If we take the case, there are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation.
For a free consultation, call our New Hyde Park law firm at 800-758-4403 or contact us online. We speak Spanish and Russian.