Affecting roughly one or two babies per 1,000, Erb’s Palsy is a type of nerve injury that occurs when there are complications at birth. The effects of Erb’s Palsy can vary from mild to severe, depending on the level of the baby’s injury. California parents may be interested to read more about this condition.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy is the result of damage to the nerves of a baby’s upper arm at the Erb’s point, which is the place where the baby’s fifth and sixth cranial nerves in the neck meet to make up the upper point of the brachial plexus. The nerves in the brachial plexus provide feeling and movement to a baby’s fingers, hand and arm. When these nerves are damaged, the victim cannot move their upper arm or shoulder.
Factors that can cause Erb’s Palsy
There are three main causes of Erb’s palsy. One of the most common is extreme pulling on the baby’s shoulders during a face-first delivery. This occurs due to the baby being too big for the birth canal. The condition can also occur if the baby is in an awkward position during the birth process. It’s especially risky if the baby’s head is turned one way while the doctor pulls the baby’s arm in the reverse direction. Forceful stretching during a breech birth is a third cause for this condition that can lead to birth injuries.
How doctors detect Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is detected whenever a baby favors one arm over the other or cannot move one arm at all. Some common signs of the condition are as follows:
• Full or partial paralysis
• Arm numbness or soreness
• One arm appears limp, bent at the elbow or held closely to the body’s side
Taking legal action for birth injury damages
During delivery, a mother puts her health and the health of her baby into the hands of medical professionals. If her baby suffers birth injuries because of the negligent actions of a doctor or nurse, the mother has a right to file a claim for compensation. An attorney could help a family take legal action.