ERB’S PALSY


Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer and Ohio Hospital Negligence Attorney Represents Injured Plaintiffs Nationwide
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One or two of every 1,000 babies suffer from Erb’s palsy, a form of brachial plexus palsy. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves near the child’s neck that give rise to nerves in the arm, providing movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers.

The condition of brachial plexus birth palsy causes arm weakness and a loss of motion. Potential causes for this kind of birth trauma can include:

  • Infant’s neck stretched to the side during delivery
  • Shoulder dystocia—the baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery
  • A physician pulling too hard on a baby’s head, causing excessive strain on the baby’s shoulder and brachial plexus nerves
  • Excessive force—nursing or doctor negligence
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors. Forceps and vacuum extractors may risk intracranial hemorrhage
  • Breech birth injury—brachial plexus nerves can be injured when the baby’s arms are pulled backward over the head as the delivering physician pulls the newborn by the legs

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio medical malpractice attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of hospital negligence and birth injury claims against parties responsible for children born with injuries. 


Types of Brachial Plexus Birth Injury


In many cases, brachial plexus Erb’s palsy affects the motion of the arm and shoulder and further into the hand and fingers. In most cases only the upper nerves are affected. If both upper and lower nerves are stretched, the condition is more severe and considered a total, brachial plexus birth palsy. Injuries include a loss of feeling and partial or complete paralysis. Four types of brachial plexus nerve injuries include:

  • Neurapraxia—nerves are shocked but do not rupture, and are likely to heal in a few months
  • Neuroma—Involve damage to nerve fibers resulting in scar tissue that presses on healthy nerves
  • Tearing of the nerve—a tear or rupture will require a nerve graft and vary in results
  • Avulsion—the most serious type of birth nerve injury and occurs when the nerve is completely torn from the spinal cord

Symptoms & Outlook of Erbs Palsy


The severity of the injury that affects both treatment decisions and the extent of recovery possible. Brachial plexus injuries and Erbs palsy birth injury in newborns usually present with the following symptoms:

  • Weakness in one arm
  • Loss of feeling in the arm
  • Partial or total paralysis of the arm

Because nerves recover very slowly, many children with birth injuries continue to experience weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand for months or years. Your doctor can discuss various treatment options and make a specific recommendation based on your child’s injury. Treatment may include microsurgery, nerve graft, or nerve transfer.

Negligent hospital management, nurses or doctors may be held liable for birth trauma injuries, and it is recommended to contact an experienced hospital negligence attorney to review your medical andMedical Negligence.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

Can I File A Lawsuit?

Each birth injury case and instance of hospital negligence is different and must be investigated. Medical records and testimony can provide insights into the root cause of a birth injury. The Lyon Firm works with medical experts to bring legal action when necessary.

If you have been injured in a childbirth injury or your child has suffered, The Lyon Firm will review your case. Once your medical goals have been discussed following a birth injury, it is crucial to set up a plan to help pay for the medical costs associated with the birth injury in question.

Obtaining a settlement is not an easy task but an experienced attorney can assist you in a big way. Once the lawsuit is filed, an attorney can present your case with evidence and testimony in the discovery phase, which will begin the settlement process.

What is an Apgar Score?

Apgar tests are performed on infants one minute after birth and five minutes after birth. The first test is done to examine how the child handled the birthing process, whereas the second test is done to see how the child is fairing outside of the mother’s womb.

The minimum score a baby can obtain is a zero and the maximum is ten; the test consists of five categories and the baby is ranked 0-2 for each category (zero for negative results and two for excellent results). The five categories measure:

  • breathing effort;
  • heart rate;
  • muscle tone;
  • reflex/grimace response;
  • skin color.

Initially, the Apgar test was assumed to be independent of a child’s future health; the tests were mere indications of how an infant was getting acclimated with surviving on his own and whether or not any appropriate medical procedures needed to be ordered.

However, a recent study and article produced by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) indicates that a lower Apgar score during the five-minute test is related to higher death rates for neonatal infants (immediate post birth) and post-neonatal infants (one month to one year after birth).

Specifically, it was found that infants who scored 0-3 on their five-minute Apgar test had a 35 percent chance of death within the first week after birth, a 3 percent chance of death between 7-28 days of birth, and a 5 percent chance of death within one year of birth. Deaths were typically a result of anoxia or asphyxia (types of suffocation).

The study produced by the NEJM was conducted in Scotland and consisted of one million births between 1992 and 2010. Another study produced in 2013 by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) revealed similar implications.

According to this study, within one month of birth, 58% of babies who scored a one on the Apgar did not survive, 33 percent of babies who scored a two on the Apgar did not survive, and 19% of all babies who scored a three on the Apgar did not survive.  The mortality rate for babies who initially received low Apgar scores, but lived past one month of life decreased astoundingly.

After surviving past one month, only 3 percent of babies who scored a one did not survive over a year, 3% of babies who scored a two did not survive over a year, and 4% of babies who scored a three did not survive.

These results are analogous with those from the NEJM; while the mortality rate is high within the first month of birth for infants with low Apgar scores, it decreases significantly after the first month.

What is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is the slowing of the heart rate below for a ten minute period. If a baby has severe bradycardia, their brain may not be getting enough oxygen. Brain damage begins within 10 minutes.

The variability in oxygen deprivation will vary, depending on the fetal reserve. If an infant has a full fetal oxygen reserve, it will take a longer bradycardia to result in a brain injury or birth injury. Generally, if a baby can be delivered within 10 minutes after a bradycardia, the child will not suffer birth injury.

What is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is the opposite of bradycardia, and describes when a heart rate is greater than 150-160 beats per minute. A sustained heart rate above 150 can suggest the possibility of fetal distress because a primary cause of tachycardia is oxygen deprivation. A normal fetal heart rate is somewhere between 115 and 150.

What Are Declarations?

Decelerations are drops in the fetal heart rate. Some decelerations are considered normal, but still the fetus loses oxygen during each deceleration. Repeated decelerations may lead to acidosis, hypoxia, and ischemia, and ultimately birth injury.

What Prescriptions Are Linked with Birth Defects?

Children are incredibly vulnerable to dangerous prescription drugs while developing in a mother’s womb. Unfortunately, several medications may interfere with proper development and contribute to various types of physical and mental birth defects. Some of these medications include the following:

  • •    SSRIs: antidepressants including Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor, Prozac, and Zoloft
    •    PPIs (prescription antacids): include Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid
    •    Accutane
    •    Cholesterol-controlling statins: Crestor
    •    Depakote
    •    Topamax (topiramate)
Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

Your Right to Safe healthcare

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A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.

This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.

Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BOWEL OBSTRUCTION

WRONGFUL DEATH

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER

$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.

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