Erb's Palsy, which is also known as Brachial Palsy, is caused by an injury to inter-joining nerves in the head, neck and shoulders. The most common cause of Erb's palsy is dystocia, an abnormal or difficult child birth. If you believe your infant may suffer from Erb's palsy due to the negligence of a doctor or medical provider, call a birth injury attorney to review the facts of your case.
Erb's palsy occurs in approximately 3 live births out of every 1,000 in the United States and most often happens during the course of delivering a larger child due to their difficulty passing the mother's pubic bone. In this scenario, excessive pressure can be put on the infant's head, neck or shoulders by a medical provider during the birthing process which may result in injury. Erbs Palsy symptoms may include limpness or even paralysis in a child's arm and limited movement or no movement in a hand or fingers. The paralysis can be partial or complete. It may also include atrophy of the deltoid, biceps and brachialis muscles. Consult a birth injury attorney early on to discuss the merits of your case and the possibility of financial compensation to cover your bills and expenses.
If the type of injury that causes Erb's palsy occurs at an age that is early enough to affect development, it can lead to a patient experiencing growth that is stunted in the affected arm, causing everything from the shoulder down through the fingertips to be smaller than the unaffected arm. This can also lead to patients having impaired muscular, circulatory and nervous development. The arm is generally much weaker than the unaffected arm due to this lack of muscular development.
Because there may be lack of development in the circulatory system, those with Erb's palsy may experience an arm with almost no ability to regulate its temperature and also experience difficulty getting their skin to heal. Skin abrasions, cuts and infections that are common in young children, take far longer to heal. It varies per case, but some people with Erb's palsy lose complete sensory perception in the arm due to nerve damage.
Erb's palsy may result from a medical mistake, medical malpractice or negligence. An example would be if the newborn's head and neck are simultaneously pulled toward the side at the same time the shoulders pass through the birth canal. Erb's palsy can also result from excessive pulling on the shoulders during a head first delivery, or during a breech delivery by pressure put on the raised arms.
If you believe your child is suffering from a brachial plexus injury such as Erb's palsy and you wish to bring legal action in order to receive compensation for your child's physical and emotional damages, contact a birth injury attorney today.