Medical negligence during childbirth can lead to various complications and injuries to the newborn. Two such conditions that significantly affect a child's life are Erb's Palsy and Fetal Macrosomia. This guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of these conditions, how they occur, their long-term effects, and the legal rights of parents in such situations.
Erb's Palsy, also known as Brachial Plexus Palsy, is a nerve injury condition that primarily affects a newborn's shoulder and arms. (1) This condition is characterized by muscle weakness, paralysis in the affected arm, and limited range of motion.
The primary cause of Erb's Palsy is damage to the nerve bundle near the shoulder during a difficult labor or delivery. (2) This typically occurs when a baby's shoulders become trapped in the birth canal, requiring the doctor or delivery staff to exert pressure to free the newborn. If the pressure exerted is excessive, it could damage the nerves, leading to Erb's Palsy.
Some of the common symptoms of Erb's Palsy include an arm turned inward, limited movement in the shoulder, arm, or hand, an inability to lift the arm above the head, and a difference in size between the two arms.
In severe cases, this condition may lead to permanent paralysis. However, in most cases, symptoms dissipate after several months of consistent physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery to repair nerve damage.
Fetal Macrosomia refers to a condition where a fetus has an unusually large body, generally classified as anything above 8 pounds and 13 ounces at birth. (3) Although common, with roughly 10% of babies born at this weight or heavier, Fetal Macrosomia poses significant risks for birth injuries.
Several factors contribute to Fetal Macrosomia. These include prolonged pregnancy, maternal diabetes, genetics, maternal obesity, and maternal overnutrition. In such cases, healthcare providers should closely monitor the mother and fetus throughout the pregnancy. (4)
Fetal Macrosomia increases the likelihood of a traumatic birth, characterized by an especially difficult birth. This condition can lead to oxygen deprivation to the brain or injury from the doctor's tools, resulting in conditions like cerebral palsy, facial paralysis, or Erb's Palsy.
In Tampa, Florida, parents have legal rights if their child suffers from birth injuries due to medical negligence. The law holds medical professionals and institutions accountable for their errors, ensuring that children and their caregivers receive the compensation they need.
If your child has suffered from birth injuries attributable to medical negligence, you may file a medical malpractice insurance claim or lawsuit. To prove medical negligence, your attorney must demonstrate that the healthcare professionals breached the standard of care, resulting in long-term harm to your child.
In Florida, parents must file a claim against the negligent healthcare provider within two years from the date they should have reasonably discovered the birth injury. However, an exception known as "Tony's Law" allows parents to file a medical malpractice claim until their child's eighth birthday if they were born after July 1, 1996.
Understanding Erb's Palsy and Fetal Macrosomia is vital for parents who have experienced birth injuries due to medical negligence. In such conditions, seeking legal help to hold the responsible parties accountable is crucial. Legal professionals specializing in birth injury law in Tampa can provide guidance and support in navigating the complex legal process, ensuring that you and your child receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
What is Erb's Palsy and how does it affect newborns?
Erb's Palsy, often referred to as Brachial Plexus Palsy, is a condition that results from nerve damage and predominantly impacts a newborn's shoulders and arms. Babies with this condition might experience symptoms like muscle weakness, paralysis in the impacted arm, limited motion range, and an arm that turns inward. In severe instances, Erb's Palsy can result in permanent paralysis.
How is Fetal Macrosomia defined and what causes it?
Fetal Macrosomia refers to newborns who have an unusually large body, specifically weighing more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces at birth. Causes can range from prolonged pregnancy, maternal diabetes, genetics, maternal obesity, to maternal overnutrition. Approximately 10% of babies are born with this weight or more, increasing the risks for birth injuries.
What are the potential complications associated with Fetal Macrosomia?
Babies born with Fetal Macrosomia have a heightened chance of experiencing a traumatic birth. This can lead to serious complications such as oxygen deprivation to the brain, injuries from medical tools during delivery, or conditions like cerebral palsy, facial paralysis, or even Erb's Palsy.
What are the legal rights of parents in Tampa, Florida if their child suffers from birth injuries due to medical negligence?
In Tampa, Florida, parents can seek legal recourse if their child has sustained birth injuries resulting from medical negligence. The law ensures that medical institutions and professionals are held accountable for their mistakes, guaranteeing that affected children and their caregivers obtain the necessary compensation.
How long do parents in Florida have to file a medical malpractice claim for birth injuries?
In Florida, parents should file a claim against the healthcare provider who showed negligence within two years from the date they reasonably discovered the birth injury. Nonetheless, there's an exception named "Tony's Law" that allows parents to file a medical malpractice claim up until their child reaches their eighth birthday, provided the child was born after July 1, 1996.
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