What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy is something you see a lot of times in a difficult birth where a child or a newborn has developed a paralysis of the arm. There’s injury to the nerves that are related to that arm and specifically the nerves that are in the cervical spine of the child. This kind of injury usually happens during a difficult labor, when it’s imperative that the baby is delivered as quickly as possible to prevent distress or injury. When that happens, a lot of things are going on, and a lot of decisions are being made, usually weighing the risk of one course of action over another. In the delivery process, in an attempt to deliver the baby faster, medical staff may tug gently on the baby. If they pull too hard on the baby’s shoulder, or if there’s too much pressure on the neck in a breach scenario where the baby’s coming out feet first, this can cause injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus. This is first seen when the baby is delivered and they have one arm that is weak or limp, which might naturally rotate in toward the body. Their arm movement will be limited or nonexistent if they have full arm paralysis. This is a nightmare situation for any parent to be in. You never want anything to hurt your child, especially at such a delicate time in their life.

Now, this condition could resolve on its own. Your child could undergo physical therapy, which involves daily arm exercises, starting at three weeks old, to keep the joint from becoming permanently stiff. If your child’s injury isn’t improving within three to six months, your pediatrician may recommend surgery. Following surgery, your child will still need daily physical therapy for quite some time. Due to the slow growth rate of nerves, it could take up to two years for your child’s nerve damage to fully heal. And even once they have recovered to their fullest potential, they may still suffer some weakness or lack of range of motion in the affected arm. In short, while there are multiple treatment options, Erb’s palsy is not a condition that will fade quickly or repair itself easily. If your child is diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, it would behoove you to think in the long-term: what resources will you need to help your child in the future? By pursuing a malpractice suit, we can help you get what you need to ensure that your child’s surgery, physical therapy, and mobility needs will always be within your power to provide.

To begin with, we want to find your answers for what exactly transpired and who made the decision that injured your baby. It’s something that may be the result of the negligence of the doctor, depending on those decisions that they made at that time. What we do is we handle these cases as they come into our office. What we’re going to do is we’re going to find out really what went wrong. Look at the time and the decisions in that case, for what happened or what the decision by those doctors and why they were made. If you have any questions, if this happened to you, call us. We’re going to help you with this investigation process and really try to get those answers for you so you can move forward.