Physiotherapy Treatment for Teen Born with Erb’s Palsy

Author:
Sarah Holdsworth
Senior Associate Solicitor, Medical Negligence Claims
Date:
07/07/2021

We helped a young woman who was born with an Erb’s Palsy injury because of mistakes made during her birth access the specialist care and support she needed.

Katie was born in October 2001, but during her birth, her right shoulder became stuck (shoulder dystocia) and she suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury.

This had huge consequences for Katie, including a loss of movement in her right shoulder and cramp in her right arm when she was carrying out basic tasks such as washing her hair.

She also had to rely on others to help her with tasks that involved using two hands, such as cutting up food.

Katie suffered pain every day, despite using analgesia and carrying out daily exercises, and had to have extensive physiotherapy.

Sadly, Katie couldn’t pursue her ambition to join the Armed Forces because of her condition, and feared that it could put her at a disadvantage when applying for other jobs.

Making a Claim

Katie’s mother got in touch with our expert Medical Negligence Solicitors for a free claims assessment, as she believed Katie was injured because of mistakes made by clinicians during the delivery.

We agreed that she had strong grounds to claim compensation and took on her case, with Katie’s mother acting as her litigation friend.

This would mean that, if successful, Katie could get the specialist physical and psychological treatment she needed, as well as specialist aids to help her live with her injury.

This case was unusual because there was no record of shoulder dystocia or of any difficulty with the delivery in the medical records. In fact, the hospital we claimed against argued that the delivery was straightforward and with no recorded complications.

But very shortly after birth, the Erb’s Palsy injury was diagnosed with no real explanation offered.

Investigation Begins

We arranged for an independent obstetric expert to assess Katie and the details of her delivery, and they concluded that the delivery had been negligent. For example:

  • The delivery was made with excessive force
  • Shoulder dystocia should have been diagnosed
  • Appropriate manoeuvres to release the impacted shoulder weren’t carried out

Although the NHS Trust didn’t formally admit responsibility for Katie’s birth injury, they did agree to settle the claim.

This meant we could negotiate a fair compensation settlement that reflected Katie’s needs without the added distress of going to Court.

Katie's Future

We negotiated a compensation settlement of £685,000, which Katie accepted.

Katie plans to use the money to buy a property with some land so she can keep and care for animals, which has always been a dream of hers.

The settlement also means she can access further psychological therapy, physiotherapy and pain management, as this may be needed for many years to come, and buy an automatic rather than a manual car.

We’re delighted to have helped Katie get the settlement she deserves and wish her well for the future.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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