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Berger & Lagnese, LLC

Erb’s Palsy & Shoulder Dystocia Attorneys in Pittsburgh

Skilled Birth Injury Lawyers Representing the Injured in Western Pennsylvania

The Western Pennsylvania attorneys at the law firm of Berger & Lagnese, LLC help parents whose children were born with a birth injury such as Erb’s Palsy and Shoulder Dystocia. These conditions that can be mild or severe, but in most instances are the result of mistakes made by the negligence of medical providers. We understand the anxiety that parents feel when a child is born with an injury. The future of the child and the family are unknown, the cost of treatment is unknown, and the ability of the child to develop fully is unknown. It’s a frightening time, let us help. Our attorneys focus on medical malpractice cases in Pittsburgh and beyond.  We offer a free consultation for you to discuss your case. Don’t wait, call us today.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s Palsy is the result of injury to the brachial plexus, which is a group of nerves in the neck that connect to the nerves in the arm. Damage to these neck nerves can affect the movement and strength of the shoulder, hand, fingers and arm. Erb’s Palsy is one of the conditions caused by damage to this group of nerves.

Erb’s Palsy occurs when the upper nerves of the brachial plexus are injured, usually when the infant’s neck is stretched to the side during a difficult delivery, such as the delivery of a large baby, a breech birth or a prolonged labor. Such situations can be managed proactively by medical providers to reduce the risk of injury. Management strategies include C-sections, turning the baby while in the birth canal (version), and repositioning the laboring mother. Knowing when to take such interventions requires that decal providers pay attention to the progress of labor.

Treatment of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s Palsy is usually treated with physical therapy soon after birth. If physical therapy does not result in acceptable improvement, surgery may be required. However, even with surgery, a child may continue to have weakness for some time or even permanently.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder Dystocia is the term used to describe the situation where a baby’s head is delivered but the shoulders remain stuck in the birth canal. The consequences can range from Erb’s Palsy or other brachial plexus injury to oxygen deprivation to infant death. Providers should be aware beforehand of the increased risk of Shoulder Dystocia in certain births. For example, having a large baby or giving birth after the due date are two of the many factors that increase the risk of Shoulder Dystocia.

Providers should be ready to intervene quickly. If it looks like a baby may become stuck, an obstetrician, nurse or midwife can reposition the mother, apply pressure to the mother’s lower abdomen, turn the baby’s shoulder, or perform an episiotomy to try to reduce the probability of shoulder dystocia.

Treatment of Shoulder Dystocia

If a baby is born with an injury caused by Shoulder Dystocia, treatment depends on what type of injury occurred. As described above, treatment of a brachial plexus injury such as Erb’s Palsy generally involves physical therapy and possibly surgery. Treating a baby who suffered oxygen deprivation because of Shoulder Dystocia can be much more complicated, possibly requiring life-long care.

Contact Our Pittsburgh Attorneys

If your baby suffered a brachial plexus injury such as Erb’s Palsy or was oxygen-deprived because of Shoulder Dystocia, talk to us to learn about your legal options. Email us to get started. Remember, there is no fee until we obtain justice for you and your child.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. I just had carpal tunnel surgery and my hand is still numb and I have worse pain than before the surgery. Is this normal?

  • Q. I just had carpal tunnel surgery and my hand is still numb and I have worse pain than before the surgery. Is this normal?

  • Q. I just had carpal tunnel surgery and my hand is still numb and I have worse pain than before the surgery. Is this normal?