One example of birth injuries caused by trauma to the newborn is Erb’s palsy (sometimes called Brachial Plexus palsy). In essence The brachial plexus is a nerve bundle located in the shoulder region that controls muscles in the shoulder, arms and hands. Sometimes during delivery a child’s should can become lodged on the mother’s pubic bone. If a physician uses to much force on a child’ head during the deliver process in an effort to dislodge a shoulder damage can occur to the nerve bundles located in this shoulder region.
A child that is born with brachial plexus palsies such as Erb’s palsy can suffer paralysis and a loss of sensation and muscle control in their shoulders, arm and hands. They may also suffer from disfigurement of the shoulder or arms. This often results in the child being unable to lift their arms above their head and not being able to have appropriate strength and fine motor coordination. Treatment options include extensive physical therapy and surgery.
Obviously, the primary concern of the parents is to care for the child and not the possibility of pursuing a claim. However, the long term costs of caring for the child can be extraordinary. Admittedly, the delivery of a child is a complicated process, and the potential for complications is always present. However, some complications like birth injuries can be presented, and it is the responsibility of the treating medical care providers to provide adequate medical care for the fetus and mother during pregnancy, labor and the delivery. Unfortunately, parents often do not discover that a cause of the problem can be medical malpractice for a significant period of time. In Tennessee the family now has only three years to bring a claim. This may sound like a long time but when the sole concern is your child the three years passes very quickly.