Know Whether Your Doctor Could Have Prevented Your Baby’s Erb’s Palsy

Gabriel A. Assaad
Partner Gabriel Assaad represents victims of negligence and medical malpractice nationwide.

If your baby suffers from Erb’s palsy as a result of a difficult delivery, you may feel overwhelmed as to where to turn for help. Treatment for this condition can often be costly and may last well into the future. Victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for their losses and suffering. If the delivering physician could have prevented your child’s injury, you may have a claim.

Three Ways Erb’s Palsy Can Be Prevented

In some cases, Erb’s palsy is caused by blatant medical malpractice. For example, if the delivering physician lifted the baby from his or her arms instead of securely from the neck and back. This is an obvious sign that the doctor could have prevented the injury that led to Erb’s palsy. Other cases of Erb’s palsy are preventable as well. If the baby is coming out at a risky or difficult angle, it is still the doctor’s responsibility to make sure that the baby is delivered safely without causing complications for either the mother or the baby. Unfortunately, some doctors will rush to get the baby out in these cases in order to prevent further complications that could potentially be more serious than Erb’s palsy—such as a brain injury caused by being compressed in the birth canal for too long. The doctor, however, has an obligation to prevent both injuries.

How could the doctor have potentially prevented your baby’s Erb’s palsy? While the facts and circumstances for each case are unique, the following are some common examples of how this birth injury can often be prevented:

  1. The doctor should run tests in order to assess the health, size, and position of the baby before birth. This can help determine the best and safest way for delivering the baby.
  2. If there are factors revealed that could suggest complications will occur to either the mother or the baby if the baby is delivered in the standard manner, the doctor can recommend a cesarean section instead of a vaginal delivery. For example, if the baby is large, the doctor may have concerns that he or she will be able to progress through the birth canal naturally.
  3. The doctor should always avoid using excessive force when pulling a baby out during delivery.

In addition to these preventative measures, if something does go wrong during the birth process, the doctor has an obligation to respond accordingly by doing whatever is reasonably possible to prevent potential injuries to the mother and child.

If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, we are here to help protect your legal rights. We encourage you to check out our many case results to learn more about how we have helped other families obtain the compensation they deserve after a birth injury.