pregnant woman

Erb’s Palsy Claims

Erb’s Palsy Claims at a Glance

Erb’s Palsy claims are commonly brought in the following situations:

  • Where it ought to have been obvious that a natural delivery was not safe or possible, perhaps because of the size of the baby relative to the size of mother’s pelvis, and a caesarean section should have been performed.
  • There was a failure to recognise that the baby’s shoulder was been pressed hard against the mother’s pelvis.
  • It was recognised that the baby was stuck at the shoulders, but inappropriate techniques were used to free them, or excessive force was used to do so.

This list is not exhaustive and it is worth getting legal advice whatever the circumstances in which Erb’s Palsy arose.

Most of our medical negligence claims are funded on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you feel you have a potential claim for Erb’s Palsy negligence, our professional team of medical negligence solicitors are available to assist you further – please contact us.

hand of newborn baby in hand of mother

Erb’s Palsy Solicitors

At Pryers, we have a great deal of experience of medical negligence claims concerning Erb’s Palsy. If you or a loved one believes that they’ve been a victim of medical negligence in this area, you should contact Pryers and speak to one of our advisors who will be happy to discuss the case with you and guide you through the next best steps to take.

Call our specialist clinical negligence solicitors today on 01904 556600 or contact us.

Erb’s Palsy is a condition that involves injury to the Brachial Plexus, which is a bundle of nerves in the neck and shoulder. These nerves provide movement and sensation in the shoulder, arm and hand. The damage can be fairly mild or very severe. It can be temporary, lasting only a few weeks, or it can be permanent. Much depends on how many of the nerves in the bundle have been affected; over what length they have been affected; and whether they have been compressed, stretched or completely torn.

new born baby hand

The condition tends to be caused during childbirth and often occurs due to “shoulder dystocia” which is a term to describe a baby becoming stuck at the shoulders. It is possible for the force of the contractions to press the baby’s neck and shoulder against the front of the mother’s pelvis so hard that the nerves are damaged. Sometimes, the injury is caused by inappropriate attempts to deliver the baby, particularly by applying force to the baby’s head, over-stretching the neck and shoulder.

A common sign of Erb’s palsy is an elbow that won’t bend and hand being held in a “waiters’ tip” (turning backwards) position. Sometimes all of the nerves may be affected. If this occurs, weakness or paralysis will affect the entire arm and hand. The arm will hang limply and the child will be unable to move it at all.

 

If the fibres of the nerves have only had a mild stretch, then the child might recover the use of their muscle fairly quickly. The more fibres that have been stretched, the weaker the muscle will be, which means the recovery process will take longer before it starts to function properly again.

A nerve that has been damaged but is still connected can heal, but scar tissue may form at the site of the injury. If this happens, the scar tissue may stop the messages so they can’t work the muscles. However, a nerve that is completely severed will not heal on its own. In such situations, surgery can sometimes help, such as nerve transfers or tendon transfers. This is very specialised surgery, performed by only a handful of surgeons in the UK. Around one in ten children with Erb’s Palsy will undergo surgery.

Negligence claims are commonly brought in the following situations:

  • Where it ought to have been obvious that a natural delivery was not safe or possible, perhaps because of the size of the baby relative to the size of mother’s pelvis, and a caesarean section should have been performed.
  • There was a failure to recognise that the baby’s shoulder was been pressed hard against the mother’s pelvis.
  • It was recognised that the baby was stuck at the shoulders, but inappropriate techniques were used to free them, or excessive force was used to do so.

This list is not exhaustive and it is worth getting legal advice whatever the circumstances in which Erb’s Palsy arose.

Our promises to you

Pryers was established in 2002 specifically to act for victims of negligence and to bring claims on their behalf.

Your case will be conducted by one of our specialist clinical negligence lawyers, who only act for patients and their families and only deal with medical negligence cases.

Our highly trained solicitors have experience in a wide range of medical negligence cases and can assist you in any medical negligence case you may have.

We will fight on your behalf to ensure maximum compensation in the shortest possible time.

We will guide and support you every step of the way.

To find out if you can claim you will need to talk with a specialist solicitor. Call us today on 01904 556600 or contact us for a free no obligation consultation.

Key People

Carmel Walsh

Carmel Walsh

Partner

Carmel Walsh has spent the last 18 years acting for claimants in personal injury and clinical negligence cases and more recently specialising [...]Read more
A photograph of Lisa Swales, a medical negligence solicitor and partner at Pryers

Lisa Swales

Partner

Lisa Swales joined Pryers Solicitors as a partner, in October 2019. She brings with her many years experience as a clinical negligence lawyer,[...]Read more
A photograph of Richard Starkie, a Partner, Richard Starkie, Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Pryers Solicitors.

Richard Starkie

Partner

Richard Starkie qualified as a solicitor in 2001. He became a partner at Pryers in 2013, where he leads a team of solicitors and other lawyers [...]Read more