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What is Erb’s Palsy?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2015 | Birth Injuries

When parents welcome a new baby into the world the usually have many concerns. Do they have enough bay clothes at home? Did they pick the right brand of diapers? Did they make the right choice on a name? While these questions can be a big deal for some, others must face more difficult issues such as what is wrong with their baby.

Many baby deliveries go as planned and afterward both mother and child are fine. In other cases however birth injuries could occur. One of those injuries is known as Erb’s Palsy. The injury which could be the result of the neck of an infant being stretched to the side during delivery, affects one or two babies out of every 1,000. But how do you know if your child is suffering from it?

There are different levels of severity of Erb’s Palsy, also referred to as brachial plexus birth palsy. Ranging from least to most severe they are: Neurapraxia, Neuroma, Rupture and Avulsion. Your child could experience anything from weakness in an arm to total paralysis. Depending on the extent of the injury the recovery will vary. Sometimes it heals on its own while other times physical therapy or surgery will be necessary.

The risk of this injury occurring increases in certain birth situations including:

  • Prolonged labor.
  • Breech presentation.
  • A large baby.

If the injury is the result of negligence on the part of a medical provider it is possible that a medical malpractice lawsuit could be viable. A lawyer who handles these types of cases can help determine if this makes sense.