There are a variety of chronic conditions that can stem from a birth injury. In this instance, Erb’s palsy, or Brachial Plexus Palsy, is a condition caused by nerve damage in an infant’s shoulder. This type of injury most often occurs during birth, and in many cases, it should have been prevented. Here are some examples of how Erb’s palsy is caused by medical malpractice.
Head-First Delivery Complications
When the head gets stuck, this can cause the baby to come out at an irregular angle or twist their shoulder while coming out. This can happen regardless of whether or not the baby’s head was too big to fit the birth canal. However, the doctor should be able to tell when a baby’s head could be too big before the delivery.
A common birth complication is a breech birth, where a baby comes out feet first instead of head first, which makes it more likely for the arm or shoulder to get caught and cause injury. For a breech delivery or if the head appears too big, the doctor should decide if a C-section would be safer. The doctor would have this information ahead of time through imaging like an ultrasound or sonogram, so making the right decision is their responsibility.
There are delivery methods that could be too aggressive and injure the child. Vacuum and forceps deliveries have their pros and cons, but it really depends on how skilled the doctor is. If the doctor pulls too forcefully, especially if the baby is stuck, then the shoulder could get twisted, and the baby could have nerve damage and develop Erb’s palsy.
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