We have substantial experience in acting for children who have suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury.
What is an Erb’s Palsy Injury?
Erb’s Palsy is serious birth injury which can lead to paralysis in the arm. It is also known as a brachial plexus injury.
Most commonly, it occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck in the birth canal during delivery – known as shoulder dystocia – this means that the team delivering the baby have to manoeuvre the mother and use specialist techniques to enable the baby to be born safely.
The doctor or midwife delivering the baby have to take additional care when managing a shoulder dystocia during delivery. In the event that they use excess force to deliver, the nerves in the babies’ arm can be injured. The extent of the injury varies from case to case but it can represent a lifelong injury, seriously compromising mobility.
Injury to the brachial plexus is usually always avoidable, provided that there is appropriate recognition of shoulder dystocia and appropriate management of the delivery. Any experienced doctor or midwife ought to be aware that there are practices and protocols which should be followed in cases of shoulder dystocia to prevent injury.
Erbs palsy is not genetic.
Common errors associated with Erb’s Palsy injury
- Failure to recognise that the mother should deliver by Caesarean Section, particularly where it is recognised that the baby is likely to be large.
- Failure to manage shoulder dystocia using the techniques to ensure a safe delivery without injuring the nerves in the upper arm.
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
- Excessive pulling or stretching of the baby’s head during a vaginal birth
- Large baby
- A baby presenting as being in the breech position
- Prolonged labour
- Complications during birth resulting in an instrumental delivery usually involving forceps
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
- One weak or numb arm
- Paralysis in the arm
- Loss of sensation in the arm
- Pain in the arm
What we can do to assist
Utilising our experience, we would instruct recognised experts in this field, most commonly midwifery experts, obstetricians and orthopaedic experts, to assist us in investigating whether there has been negligence. In order to explore issues relating to prognosis and formulate a lifetime compensation package to cover all our clients’ needs, we work with care experts, neuro-physiotherapists, and orthopaedic experts to prepare recommendations for future needs and to calculate the associated financial losses.
- Our solicitor secured compensation against a well-known obstetrician who works for the country’s best known private hospital and who applied excessive force when delivering our client. We issued court proceedings which were initially defended but prior to trial, we negotiated a compensation sum, based on a full liability sum of £600,000 which enabled our client to have life-changing surgery and a life-time of care and physiotherapy. Our client moved to Florida before the case had concluded so we then involved American experts to assist with the likely treatment and costs of obtaining this treatment in America.
- Our solicitor acted for a boy who suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury during delivery, due to the midwife’s failure to appreciate the importance of positioning the mother correctly during delivery, to overcome the shoulder dystocia and subsequently delivering the baby with excess force. We instructed experts in midwifery, obstetrics and orthopaedics to build our case against the NHS Trust. At the same time, we obtained evidence on prognosis and quantification from experts in orthopaedics, neuro-physiotherapy and care to enable us to assess our client’s past and future financial loss, arising out of his injuries. A Letter of Claim was served on the NHS Trust but liability was denied.
Get in touch with our Specialist Team
If you think that you or your child has suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury as a result of medical negligence and that you have a case to claim for compensation, please get in touch with our specialist team as soon as possible. Out team have many years’ experience in representing patients and their families, who have been affected by Erb’s Palsy injuries.
Call 020 7485 8811 or complete our online contact form.
Our promise to you
- We will review your birth negligence claim by advising you on the NHS complaints procedure or other alternative procedure if your case does not relate to NHS care and treatment;
- We provide a free initial consultation and case review;
- We can assist you with any issues that you may have regarding the complaints procedure or that you encounter in obtaining copies of your medical records;
- Our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will advise you as to the best course of action in respect of your case.