Can Erb’s Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

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Our Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Erb’s Palsy


Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury. Brachial plexus injuries can occur at both and can cause lasting deficits for the newborn that may last for the rest of their lives. When a brachial plexus injury occurs, the nerves that run between the neck and shoulders and control the muscles in the chest, arms, shoulders and hands are damaged. Generally speaking, brachial plexus injuries can cause lost of sensation, movement and physical deformity. These injuries can often be avoided with safe delivery of the newborn. If the newborn is mishandled during the delivery, this can cause a brachial plexus injury. While brachial plexus injuries such as Erb’s palsy could be due to an unfortunate but unavoidable incident during birth, often times these types of injuries are a direct result of medical malpractice that could have been avoided. Our Oregon Erb’s palsy medical malpractice lawyers encourage you to call our office today for review of your case to determine if medical malpractice played a part in your child’s brachial plexus injury. 


This is because often times, children with brachial plexus injuries such as Erb’s palsy will suffer some form of longterm damage. Damage may be mild to moderate or severe. The extent of the injury depends of the location and severity of the damage. While Erb’s palsy can be temporary, often times if can be permanent. People with Erb’s palsy may need lifelong modifications and therapies to help them to become as independent as possible. 


Types of Erb’s Palsy Injuries


There are four main types of Erb’s palsy injuries which could be the direct result of medical malpractice. The deficits the person may face as well as their prognosis depends on the type of injury. The four types of Erb’s palsy include the following:


Neuroma injuries – When this injury occurs, the nerves are mildly damaged, ripped or torn just beyond the myelin. The nerve is not completely torn, but has still experienced damage. As a result of this, scan tissue develops around the injury and as a result puts pressure on the nerve. This can result in discomfort, nerve dysfunction and pain. Unfortunately, sometimes surgical intervention is required due to the significant pain the person experiences. 


Rupture injuries – This type of injury occurs when the nerve is damaged or torn but has not separated from the spinal cord. This is a more severe form of Erb’s palsy injury and can result in loss of sensation, weakness, and loss of function. This can be temporary or permanent. While the injury could be self-healing, it often requires surgical intervention. Even with surgery, complete restoration of function is not promised. Many rupture injuries result in some extent of permanent loss. With Erb’s palsy, the upper part of the arm typically is typically where the impairment occurs. 


Avulsion injuries – Avulsion injuries are perhaps the worst type of Erb’s palsy injury as the vast majority of the time, this injury is permanent. This type of injury alters function, sensation, movement and strength. This type of injury occurs when the nerve is completely separated and torn from the spinal cord. As this is the most serious type of Erb’s palsy injury, this should most definitely be reviewed by our Oregon Erb’s palsy medical malpractice lawyers.


Neuropraxia injuries – Neuropraxia injuries are typically the most mild form of Erb’s palsy injuries but still can be a direct result of Oregon medical malpractice. When this injury occurs, the myelin that covers the nerves is damaged. This is usually due to tearing or stretching the cover that insulates the nerves. This can result in decreased function, strength and sensitivity. This type of injury can be temporary or may be permanent. 


How Can Erb’s Palsy Injuries Be a Result of Medical Malpractice?


During delivery, the infants shoulder has the potential to get lodged on the mother’s pelvic bone. Physicians have different methods of dislodging the infant. If the infant is not properly dislodged, this can result in Erb’s palsy. Doctors may also need to use forceps or vacuum assist to delivery the baby. If these tools are not used appropriately, this too can result in Erb’s palsy. Additionally, if the doctor pulls too hard on the infants shoulders or arms, this too can result in Erb’s palsy. Additionally, if mother and baby are not properly monitored, vaginal deliveries that should have been cesareans can occur. These actions are due to pure negligence. Physicians are specially trained to handle these instances in a safe and appropriate manner. Therefore, trained physicians should never encounter avoidable instances of Erb’s palsy. 


How Our Oregon Erb’s Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help You


If your child suffered from a brachial plexus injury, we strongly encourage you to contact our office for a FREE consultation. We encourage this because your child may have suffered needlessly as a direct result of medical malpractice and may therefore be entitled to compensation. Compensation for this type of injury typically includes:


  • Past pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • Therapy coverage for physical and occupational therapy
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages of the parent
  • Lost future wages of the parent and child
  • Assistive equipment coverage
  • Wrongful death damages, and
  • Other damages related to the birth injuries.


Call Our Erb’s Palsy Lawyers for Help in Oregon


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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