Erb’s Palsy Claims

Brachial plexus palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy, is a disorder caused primarily by birth trauma, which is defined as excessive traction on a baby’s head, neck, or shoulders during birth or delivery, causing nerve damage in the neck.

What is erb’s palsy disorder?

Erb’s palsy (or Erb–Duchenne palsy) is a form of brachial plexus palsy. One or two in every 1,000 babies present with this condition. It is often caused when an infant’s neck is stretched to the side during a difficult delivery. Recovery of movement and feeling in the affected arm occurs in most cases, often with daily physio and exercises. However, parents will play an active role in helping their child recover maximum function in the affected arm.

Have you been affected as a result of medical negligence?

  • Our team of medical negligence solicitors has over 30 years of collective experience handling cases for those who have suffered as a result of medical misdiagnosis or medical negligence.
  • We are accredited as medical negligence specialists by Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and the Law Society of Ireland.
  • AvMA, a nonprofit dedicated to patient safety and justice, has given Coleman Legal its seal of approval. On their website, they provide helpful advice on how to choose a specialised solicitor for your medical negligence claim, which may assist you in making your decision.

How can this type of injury be caused during childbirth?

Brachial plexus injuries in newborn babies usually occur during a very difficult delivery, often when the baby presents as large, in a breech position, or following long labour. It can also happen if a birth becomes complicated and the midwife or delivery team must deliver the baby quickly and exert some force/pressure to extract the baby from the birth canal.

Erb’s palsy treatment

1. Non-surgical treatment

Because most newborns with brachial plexus birth palsy recover on their own, a doctor will re-examine the child frequently to check on nerve recovery. Nerves tend to grow and recover very slowly, and it can in fact take up to 2 years for a recovery. There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options for Erbs and Brachial Plexus palsy.

2. Surgical treatment

A doctor may suggest surgical treatment if there has been no improvement over the first 3 to 6 months of non-surgical intervention. In microsurgery, surgeons will often use microscopes and small specialized instruments. It should be noted that nerve surgery does not typically fully restore the normal function of the affected body-part and is usually not helpful in older infants.

As with all medical negligence cases, the process can be lengthy, and it is important to take those initial first steps of gathering information, and seeking the advices of a legal representative, who can point you in the right direction as to how to deal with your potential medical negligence claim.

Medical negligence claim process

1. Consult our medical negligence solicitor

It is advisable for you to speak to an experienced team of Medical Negligence Solicitors as soon as possible if you believe that you were not provided with an adequate or appropriate level of medical care, which resulted in you sustaining an injury or illness.

2. We obtain your medical records

After the consultation with your medical negligence solicitor, he/she will request access to your medical records and engage an independent medical expert to assess your records. The purpose of engaging an independent expert is to establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the medical professional.

3. The medical negligence litigation process

Where the independent medical expert is of the professional opinion that medical negligence did occur, upon your instructions, your solicitor will commence the process of issuing legal proceedings in Court against the medical professional and/or hospital.

Statute of Limitations

The legal time limit to make a medical negligence claim is two years from the date of injury or date of knowledge that the injury or illness resulted from medical negligence. For children/minors, the time limit expires two years after their 18th birthday. You may contact a solicitor to discuss your case to advise of the Statute of Limitations applicable to your case.

Contact our birth injury team

Medical Negligence Team at Coleman Legal LLP

Quite often, parents may find themselves reluctant to contact birth injury solicitors in the early course as it may feel like prematurely acknowledging that their child has an illness from which they might not recover. If you believe that your child have suffered as a result of medical negligence, Coleman Legal can advise you as to whether you may have a case against another party and will support you through the entire process.

  • Negligently handled births
  • Problems not detected during pregnancy
  • Failure to detect serious abnormalities pre-birth
  • Errors during Ante-Natal care Injury or death due to medical instruments and/or anaesthetics or inadequate suturing

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

[email protected]

”At Coleman Legal, excellence in customer care is paramount. We aim to meet both prospective and existing client’s needs in a professional, engaging, and friendly manner with a clear objective to give quality legal advice and reach a positive outcome.”

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