Erb’s Palsy: The Birth Injury that is Caused By a Doctor’s Negligence

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice

Erb’s Palsy is weakness or the loss of motion and movement in the arm.  It occurs when nerves in the shoulder are damaged during birth.  Erb’s palsy can cause paralysis of the arm.  There are there common circumstances that will increase the likelihood of Erb’s palsy: (1) when the child is larger than average; (2) if the infant is breeched; and (3) when the infant’s shoulders are hard to deliver after the infant’s head has already come out of the birth canal. 


            The reason Erb’s palsy is usually caused by a doctor’s negligence is because Erb’s palsy is often a result of the infant’s shoulders being pulled during labor.  Often the jury verdicts are quite significant.  Other causes are if pressure is put on the arms of the infant during a breeched and when an infant’s head is pulled toward a side while the infant’s shoulders pass through the birth canal. 


            The weakness, loss of motion and movement can occur in an infant’s entire arm, both the upper and lower parts.  The evidence of Erb’s palsy will be evident early, when you pick up your child, it will be noticeable.  The arm will be curled up against your infant’s body or you will notice that it is not moving at all, either way if your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy it will be apparent.  You will notice if your child is not moving his or her arm.  If your child is diagnosed with Erb’s palsy there is a good chance that they will recover through therapy, however, surgery to repair the damage might also be necessary. 


Your child should recover from Erb’s palsy in three to six months; it is after the six month mark that surgery might become necessary.  But if your child does not recover in the three to six month time period the likelihood of recovery decreases, as the nerve damage could become permanent. 


            Erb’s palsy is a serious condition, especially if you child does not recover properly.  If your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy it could be the result of negligence by the doctor.  The doctor might have pulled on your child’s shoulders causing the paralysis.  If your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy he or she needs to receive the proper treatment for the condition.  It is important to make sure your child receives help if they have Erb’s palsy before any permanent damage is done.


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