3 Ways That Your Baby Can Suffer Erb’s Palsy as a Result of Delivery

David Hodges
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David Hodges is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice on personal injury claims.
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During the birth of a child, an injury can occur resulting in harm that ranges from mild to severe. Erb’s Palsy is one type of condition that can be caused by a physical injury during delivery. This condition is a form of brachial plexus disorder, involving damage to the nerves in the baby’s upper arm. Babies suffering from Erb’s Palsy may not be able to move the affected shoulder or upper arm. In some cases, the injury may affect the entire trunk and the spinal cord’s ability to send messages to the arm, wrist, hand, or fingers through normal nerve impulses. The long-term effects may result in costly medical expenses and the need for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, there are multiple ways in which this condition can occur during delivery.

Three Causes of Erb’s Palsy During Delivery

How is Erb’s Palsy caused during the birth of a baby? The following is an overview:

  1. While passing through the birth canal, the baby is at an awkward angle, with the head being turned to one direction and the arm being pulled in the opposite direction.
  2. If the baby is delivered face-first, Erb’s Palsy can result from excessive pulling on the shoulders. This may be more likely to happen when the baby is disproportionately bigger than the mother’s birth canal.
  3. If the baby is breech during birth, Erb’s Palsy can occur as the baby passes through the birth canal. This position places stress on the brachial plexus nerves because the baby’s arms are often pulled backward over the head when the delivering doctor pulls the baby from the birth canal by its legs. Erb’s Palsy is a risk during a breech delivery because the baby is often violently stretched. In some cases, shoulder dislocation may occur.

Regardless of how your baby’s Erb’s Palsy occurred, if the attending physician committed medical negligence, you may have a claim for compensation. It is important to act quickly in order to protect your legal rights. Contact us today at 888-894-0119 for a free consultation.


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