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What is Erb’s Palsy?

Posted on March 14, 2012 to

Julie Heiden

Our previous blog discussed certain medical mistakes that can lead to birth injuries. Now, we want to elaborate on a certain birth injury linked to medical malpractice – Erb’s Palsy. Also called Brachial Plexus Palsy, Erb’s Palsy is the result of trauma to the nerves in the baby’s neck and upper chest during delivery.

Excessive pulling on the baby’s head during delivery can injure the network of nerves that control the arms and shoulders. Other factors such as birth weight can play a role in Erb’s Palsy, but improper delivery methods are generally the root cause. Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy include:

  • Decreased grip on one side
  • Inability to keep the arm in a normal position
  • A limp arm or flopping arm
  • Lack of movement in the arm or hand

Some infants recover from Erb’s Palsy on their own, but other babies might require special treatment. Unfortunately, if a baby does not gain full range of motion by one year, he or she will likely never have full use of the arm, and he or she could suffer arthritis.

Do you know someone with symptoms of Erb’s Palsy?

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Approved by attorney Julie Heiden