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Erb’s Palsy: What Parents Need To Know

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Erb’s palsy is a condition that often occurs as a result of a birth injury. It is often caused because of a difficult delivery. Sometimes, parents have the option of filing a birth injury lawsuit against the medical professional or professionals and medical facility involved during the delivery. If you’re a parent and your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy because of a birth injury, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy is known by many names:

  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Erb-Duchenne palsy
  • Erb’s paralysis
  • Duchenne-Erb palsy
  • Duchenne-Erb syndrome
  • Upper brachial plexus paralysis, Erb-Duchenne type

Erb’s palsy is paralysis or weakness in an arm. It is caused because of an injury to the nerves in the extremity. For children, this often happens during the birthing process. The nerve damage occurs in one of four ways:

  • Avulsion, the most severe type, occurs when the nerve is displaced from the spine
  • Rupture occurs when the nerve is torn, but it is still attached to the spine
  • Neuroma occurs when the nerve is torn and scar tissue has grown around the site of the tear
  • Neuropraxia occurs when the nerve is damaged from it being stretch, but it hasn’t torn

Signs Of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy isn’t always diagnosed directly after the child is born. After all, newborns don’t necessarily move around a lot right after birth. However, there are some signs that you should watch for:

  • They favor one arm over the other
  • They have a decreased grip on one side
  • They have partial or full paralysis in one arm
  • They have a loss of sensory function in the upper arm
  • They have impaired development of one arm (muscular, nervous, or circulatory)

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you have your baby examined right away.

Treatment Options For Erb’s Palsy

There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments for Erb’s palsy. Without treatment, your child may not have full use of their arm and they may also suffer low self-esteem because of the inability to fully use their arm. Non-surgical options may include massage, physical therapy, and electrical stimulation. Surgery, when recommended, is usually done when the child is between three and six months of age.

Birth Injury Lawsuits

Sometimes, there is a possibility for parents to file a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of their child. In addition to the added financial strain for your child’s treatment and possible emotional damage, it is also possible for parents to receive compensation for their emotional distress as well.

If your child has Erb’s palsy, you should talk with Goldwater Law Firm about the possibility of filing a birth injury lawsuit. Because of the advancement in medical technology, doctors and other medical professionals are able to determine if a baby is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis or if the mother should undergo a c-section. While doctors can’t assure that every delivery is perfect, they can make decisions to help ensure a safer delivery for the mother and the baby. Contact Goldwater Law Firm to schedule your free case evaluation to learn if you can file a birth injury lawsuit for compensation. Consultations are free and confidential.