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Is Your Baby’s Arm Impaired Because Of Negligence During Delivery?

Injuries to a newborn’s arms and hands are a common type of birth injury. The cause can be direct trauma to the limb or damage to the nerve junction in the baby’s shoulder. That nerve damage often traces to negligence of the delivering physician.

The result is permanent paralysis or significant impairment in the infant’s fingers, hands and arms. Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., has helped families recover compensation for Erb’s palsy and related injuries caused by medical negligence at childbirth. Our attorneys practice throughout Indiana and extend a free case evaluation.

Erb’s Palsy And Shoulder Dystocia Injuries

Shoulder dystocia is a complication of childbirth. This occurs when one or both of the baby’s shoulders get caught on the mother’s pubic bone as the baby passes through the birth canal. Excessive force or improper technique can tear the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves in the shoulder that control movement in the arm.

Depending on the location and extent of damage, the newborn may suffer:

  • Erb’s palsy — Paralysis, weakness or loss of function in the whole arm
  • Klumpke’s palsy — Impairment in the hand and forearm, often characterized by “claw hand”
  • Fractures to the arm or collarbone that cause nerve damage or fail to heal properly

Many infants recover some or all function with time, with physical therapy or with surgical intervention. But some infants are left with permanent impairment in that arm or hand. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical.

Could It Be Medical Malpractice?

Shoulder dystocia is common enough that physicians should identify the risk factors for a difficult birth and know how to safely correct the condition without causing injury to the fetus. When the baby gets stuck during delivery, it can be an emergency situation if the baby’s oxygen supply is disrupted.

The attorneys of Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., in concert with OB/GYN medical specialists, can identify negligence of the delivering physician and/or the mother’s treating obstetrician:

  • Forcibly pulling the baby, which stretches or tears the shoulder nerves
  • Injury to the arm or shoulder from medical forceps
  • Failure to anticipate shoulder dystocia or use proper technique to free the baby
  • Failure to deliver the baby by C-section

Find Out If You Have A Case

It costs nothing to have your possible lawsuit evaluated by our experienced legal team. If your child has suffered lasting injury and you believe it is linked to complications of delivery, contact our Indianapolis firm to schedule your free consultation. Call us at 317-231-1100 or contact us online.