Erb’s Palsy & Bone Fractures at Birth

Birth injuries take many forms. Yet, it is sometimes helpful to divide the injuries into those involving brain damage (usually via oxygen deprivation) and those involving physical damage to muscle and bone. Some infants suffer both kinds of injuries and both types may cause damage that will last a lifetime. Cerebral palsy is likely the most well-known form of brain injury related to brain damage. However, our Chicago birth injury lawyers know that perhaps even more common are other physical injuries, like bone fractures and Erb’s Palsy.

Erb’s Palsy
Much confusion reigns about erb’s palsy. Because of the name many assume that it is similar to cerebral palsy; yet there are significant differences. Unlike damage to the brain, erb’s palsy refers to damage to a nerve bundle on the child’s shoulder during their delivery. The nerve bundle is know as the brachial plexus, and so sometimes the injury is called “brachial palsy.”

On most occasions this injury is caused by doctors who apply excessive force on the shoulder, neck or arms. The nerves can be torn or even snapped completely. Many children will never fully recover from this damage–they may face mobility challenge with the limb throughout this lives. Surgery and therapy is often capable of helping in recover some functionality, but often those treatments are not able to fully fix the problem.

Bone Fractures at Birth
Erb’s palsy is a physical injury usually caused by excessive force. That same excessive force may sometimes cause other problems, like bone various fractures. Some researchers find that about 1 in a 1,000 births involve bone fractures. They often shoulder have been avoided with more sensitive care by medical professionals during the delivery.

Experts know that the risk of bone fractures as a result of birth are much more likely in unique situations–like breech deliveries. Special instruments are often needed in those cases, and when not used carefully those injuries may cause harm. Collar bone breaks are perhaps the most common, but fractures also strike arms, legs, or even the skull.

Sometimes a child is born with a broken bone and no one catches it right away. Instead, children often suffer unnoticed–infants cannot tell their parents if something is wrong. It usually takes more thorough imaging tests to determine conclusively if something is not right. Depending on the extent of the harm, various treatments might be needed to correct the problem, including splints, physical therapy, or corrective surgery.

Medical malpractice is not implicated every time that a child is born with some physical or cognitive injury. But it does happen quite often. In many cases the only way to determine if the underlying injury was caused by negligence is following a thorough investigation. Of, our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers know that rarely (if ever) will medical professionals come out and admit that the problems could have been prevented had they acted appropriately. This means that families often need to seek out legal help to get answers and ensure full accountability and compensation.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Birth Injury Case Spurs Questions About Med Mal Jury Instructions

Unwanted Intrusion with Forceps Leads to Birth Injury Lawsuit

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