Each Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in this firm recognizes that common birth injuries include cerebral palsy and Erb's Palsy, also know as brachial palsy. Cerebral and Erb's palsy are very often the result of complications during a child’s delivery either before or after the delivery itself. Often, Obstetricians and other doctors, nurses and midwives do not properly read fetal monitor strips. Often Pitocin is misused or doctors or midwives fail to do a necessary Cesarean section. Children in prolonged fetal distress frequently suffer brain damage. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or Erb's palsy or other brain injury which you believe was caused by negligence, contact Needle, Goldenziel, Pascale & Consagra in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An attorney experienced with birth injury cases can help you understand your legal options.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to different parts of the brain that control the movement of muscles as well as coordination. Not all cases of cerebral palsy are severe - the severity depends on which parts of the brain have been damaged and the extent of the damage.
The onset of cerebral palsy has been attributed to several causes that can occur during pregnancy, delivery or within the first years of a child's life. These include:
- Genetic disorders
- Insufficient blood flow to the brain during or after brain development
- Bacterial meningitis
- Bleeding in the brain
- Lack of oxygen
- Head injury
- Severe jaundice
- Mother's use of harmful medications during pregnancy
The symptoms of cerebral palsy, in a child, may take time to manifest. Some of the warning signs that a child may have the disorder include: slow development in terms of rolling over, crawling, smiling and talking; abnormal or decreased muscle tone; unusual posture and poor coordination; involuntary movements; and vision or hearing problems.
Erb's or Brachial Palsy
Erb's palsy is a type of brachial plexus palsy which occurs when the massive network of nerves near the neck are stretched or torn. These nerves provide movement and feeling to the arms, hands, wrists and fingers. When the nerves are damaged, the result can be temporary or permanent loss of the child's ability to move their hands, fingers and/or arms.
Erb's palsy normally occurs during a difficult delivery, especially in cases of a large baby, breeched position or prolonged labor. In these situations, the obstetrician may need to use force to remove the baby from the birth canal. While administering this force, the brachial plexus muscles may be stretched or torn, resulting in Erb's palsy neurological disorder.
According to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), 1-2 children out of 1000 may develop Erb's palsy. The majority of these children will recover movement and feeling in the affected parts.
Some symptoms of Erb's palsy include:
- Limp or paralyzed arm
- Lack of muscle control in the arm, hand or wrist
• Lack of feeling in the arm or hand Not all hope is lost. There are treatment options available to children with Erb's palsy. Parents should consult their doctor for options specific to their child's case. Generally, range of motion exercises can help the child regain use of the limb and, in more serious cases, surgery may be required to repair the injured nerves.
If you have questions about initiating a medical malpractice claim for your child's birth injury related to cerebral or Erb's palsy, contact the attorneys at Needle, Goldenziel, Pascale & Consagra Law Offices to have an experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney evaluate your claim.