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Michigan Erb’s Palsy Attorney

Most labor and delivery episodes in Michigan hospitals do not go exactly as planned. Many times, that’s because the doctor schedules a labor induction before the mother’s body is ready to give birth. As a result, the entire process is rushed. After such a delivery, doctors often admit there were “some complications,” but they insist everything is fine now. When the family gets home, it’s obvious that everything is not fine. That’s the time to call our experienced Erb’s Palsy lawyers in Michigan.

The birth injury lawyers at Buchanan Firm aggressively stands up for your rights in these situations. We realize that we are fighting not just for financial compensation, but for your child’s future. So, we take this matter as seriously as you do. We are honored that our clients choose us to represent them, so we work diligently to earn their trust. Our simple pledge to you is to put forth our best effort, coupled with our best attitude, every time our Erb’s Palsy attorneys work on your claim.

Recognizing the Risk of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s Palsy is basically a nerve injury to the brachial plexus area, which is under the baby’s arm. This nerve injury, which is usually permanent, does more than affect use and range of motion of the arm and shoulder. It often causes the face to droop, much like a stroke.

This condition affects about one in every 1,000 births in Kent County. But major hospitals, like Spectrum Health-Butterworth in Grand Rapids, handle over 10,000 births a year.

So, doctors should anticipate issues with Erb’s Palsy, especially because shoulder dystocia causes almost all these birth injury cases. Nevertheless, doctors often overlook warning signs, like prior high-risk births, high fetal weight, and maternal diabetes. Or, they dismiss these indications as “borderline” problems and proceed full speed ahead.

Assisted Vaginal Delivery

If the baby becomes lodged in the mother’s birth canal, the umbilical cord may cut off oxygen to the baby’s brain in as little as five minutes. Since the clock is ticking, doctors often make bad decisions. They fall back on assisted delivery methods which often cause Erb’s Palsy, such as:

  • Forceps Delivery: Surgical forceps resemble giant salad tongs. Doctors insert the tongs into the mother’s body and try to pull the baby out of the birth canal. When they do so, they often pinch the brachial plexus nerves. Forceps often cause brain injuries as well, if the doctor pinches the baby’s tiny head.
  • Vacuum Extractor: The doctor places a cap on the baby’s head and attaches the cap to a vacuum. Then, the doctor literally sucks the baby out of the mother’s womb, or at least tried to do so. If the baby is still in a poor position, which is likely, the vacuum extractor may simply pull on the nerves and cause permanent injury.

Many assisted vaginal deliveries also involve episiotomies. Once upon a time, doctors routinely cut the mother’s perineum (area between the vagina and anus) to widen the birth canal. Now, doctors know these are not very effective and may cause uncontrollable bleeding. Nevertheless, many doctors still rely on this controversial and dangerous method.

Your Claim for Damages

Michigan law holds doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals to a very high standard. These individuals generally have a fiduciary duty to act in the patient’s best interests. Failure to do so is almost always negligence.

This negligence could be a lack of ordinary care, such as risky forceps use, or violation of an industry standard, such as episiotomy use.

Because of the high duty of care, damages in Erb’s Palsy cases tend to be very high. These damages usually include compensation for current and reasonable future medical expenses, future lost wages, and other economic losses. Victims are also entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering.

Count on an Aggressive Erb’s Palsy Lawyer

Erb’s Palsy usually means a lifetime of pain and suffering. For a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in injury cases. Call today.