The parents of a baby girl have brought a lawsuit against the doctors and the hospital alleging medical malpractice. The suit states that the infant was severely injured during birth as a result of the use of excessive traction. The baby suffered injuries to spinal nerves in her neck and shoulder areas. The child sustained brachial plexus palsy which caused paralysis of the right arm. Injuries of this type are recognized immediately; however, sometimes the extent of damage and disability may take some time to determine. This lawsuit names the University of Chicago Medical Center and two doctors.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in the shoulder area. Brachial plexus injuries in newborns occur when these nerves are damaged. This can be caused by pulling on the shoulders during delivery, putting too much pressure on the baby’s raised arms, or the baby’s head and neck pulling towards the shoulders during birth. There are several types of brachial plexus injuries that may occur including:
· Erb’s Palsy – Paralysis of the upper and lower arm · Klumpke Paralysis – Affects the hand and may cause eyelid droop · Brachial Plexus Palsy – Injuries affect upper arm
These injuries may range from mild to severe. Some infants will recover within 3 to 6 months. Other times, the injuries may be permanent. This may happen when the nerves have been separated from the spinal cord. In this case, the infant was diagnosed with brachial plexus palsy after the doctors were negligent during delivery.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Brachial plexus palsy, BPP, is an injury that causes paralysis to the upper arm. The use of the arm may be completely or partially lost as a result. If the injury does not heal on its own the prognosis is generally not good. Surgery may be an option in some instances. A common cause for this type of injury during birth is when excessive force or stretching is used during the labor and delivery process. This can happen when the birth becomes difficult and the use of birth-assistance tools is needed. These may include forceps and vacuum extraction tools.
Birth Injury Lawsuit
When a doctor does not take proper care during delivery the child may experience injuries. Brachial plexus palsy is a very serious injury and one that will require much medical treatment. When a doctor is negligent the patient or the patient’s family may be entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses, medications, rehabilitation, and future medical costs. Additionally, the victim is allowed money for pain and suffering and for permanent disability. A lawsuit may end with a settlement; however, sometimes the case goes to trial.
A qualified birth injury attorney will fight for your rights, negotiate a resolution or represent you at trial. In this case the baby, born in 2011, has suffered permanent injuries. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000 for medical expenses and other costs including legal fees. If your infant suffered serious injuries during birth discuss the situation with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.