Your child is a miracle and bringing her into the world is worth all the pain and struggle you went through during labor and delivery. But what happens when the pain does not stop there? If your child sustained a birth injury during delivery, is the doctor liable? In some cases, a doctor is liable, but birth injuries are often the results of a difficult delivery. If you believe your child’s Erb’s palsy is a result of medical malpractice, speak with a medical malpractice lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale today.
Erb’s Palsy & difficult deliveries
Erb’s Palsy is an orthopedic condition resulting from trauma to the brachial plexus – which is a network of nerves connecting the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. When these nerves become compromised – known as a “brachial plexus injury” or “BPI” – the patient has difficulty using these extremities, and may even experience total paralysis. In many cases, Erb’s palsy will heal in a few weeks or months; however, some cases may take up to two years to heal and/or require surgery.
During childbirth, brachial plexus injuries occur most commonly during vaginal delivery when the brachial plexus stretches or compresses – however, it is not impossible for a baby to experience BPI during a Caesarian section delivery. During a natural childbirth, the baby’s shoulder may lodge itself behind the mother’s pelvic bone, creating a condition called “shoulder dystocia.”
The doctor may be able to resolve this issue in any number of ways, including the use of maternal maneuvering (e.g., McRoberts maneuver), vacuum extraction, or an emergency Caesarian section.
Doctors cannot always avoid Erb’s palsy. In some cases, however, an obstetrician should have known of the possibility of a difficult delivery – and made proper arrangements to avoid the precarious situation by ordering a planned Caesarian section delivery. In many cases of shoulder dystocia, the baby is simply too large to pass successfully through the birth canal, which is often caused by gestational diabetes.
During the course of a pregnancy, a doctor can identify gestational diabetes as early as the second trimester and suggest treatment options available to help keep mother and baby safe. If a mother suffers from gestational diabetes that a doctor does not diagnose or monitor – resulting in macrosomia (i.e., large baby) and difficult delivery – the obstetrician tasked with providing prenatal care may be negligent and liable for the child’s resulting injuries.
In addition, if the doctor incorrectly used forceps or vacuum extraction incorrectly, she may be liable for any injuries your child suffers.
Note: Using forceps and vacuum extraction can be dangerous. If the doctor did everything correctly and your child still suffered an injury, you most likely do not have a claim.
Contact a birth injury lawyer today
If your childbirth resulted in injuries to your child, please do not hesitate to contact a birth injury lawyer at the Montero Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale today: 954-767-6500.