Erbs palsy claims

If you or your child suffer from Erbs Palsy you may find that you can claim compensation against the responsible individual. The Stephensons clinical negligence team have a history of achievement in the field and are recognised by national authorities as a leading centre of excellence. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you: 0333 344 4772

 Erbs Palsy is a condition caused by traumatic damage to the nerves which run from the spine through the shoulder and down the arm. The results can vary from a loss of sensation in the arm or hand to total paralysis of all the muscles of the arm below the shoulder. Over 5,000 children a year are born with the condition.

Erbs Palsy is caused when a nerve called the ‘brachial plexus’, which is found in the armpit region, is damaged by some sort of trauma. Although this can occur through a fall or sudden jarring injury it is most commonly caused during childbirth. Excessive pulling or sudden tugs could cause the child’s shoulder to twist awkwardly. This in turn could cause a tear in the nerve, or even a complete separation from the spine. 

Treatment for Erbs Palsy can often improve the condition since the growth rate of newborns means that the nerve can repair itself with some encouragement. Physical therapy will generally be conducted and surgery may be considered if the damage is serious. Parents will most likely have to conduct physical exercises with their child two or three times a day. However, it is likely that any symptoms which remain by the age of 2 will be permanent.

Ensuring safe childbirth can be challenging, but the responsible medical professional will have received sufficient training to ensure that they can deliver the baby without unnecessary injuries. This skill means that the medical professional will be held to a higher standard of care than the average person, and they must therefore avoid mistakes such as:

  • Failure to properly compensate for the weight of the baby.
  • Failure to carry out a caesarean section, or failure to properly inform the mother of the risks if she insists upon a vaginal delivery.
  • Use of excessive or improper force during delivery

Failing to meet the high standards which are expected of medical professionals may mean that the responsible professional has failed in their duties towards their patient. As a result they may be liable to pay compensation for the resulting medical condition.

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JudithThomas-Whittingham
Head of Clinical Negligence

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