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Erb’s palsy: causes, risk factors and treatment

When you prepare to deliver a child in a New York hospital, you may do so with one main goal in mind: delivering a healthy, happy baby. Unfortunately, though, not everyone who delivers babies in New York hospitals is able to achieve this goal, and in some cases, medical hardships arise because of a doctor’s error or negligence. At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we recognize that Erb’s palsy is one of a number of conditions that can occur due to a doctor error, and we have helped many families who suffered because of Erb’s palsy diagnoses pursue appropriate recourse.

Per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Erb’s palsy is a medical condition that a delivery room doctor can cause if he or she stretches an infant’s head too far to one side during a tough delivery. The condition is also more common among large babies, or in prolonged deliveries or those where the infant was in the breech position. Though relatively rare, Erb’s palsy, or brachial plexus birth palsy, may last for two years or longer, and in severe cases, the condition may leave your infant needing surgery.

Just how can Erb’s palsy impact your child? The term “palsy” means weakness, and children who have Erb’s palsy typically experience noticeable weakness within one of their arms. In some cases, your child may lose all feeling in one of his or her arms, while in others, he or she may experience partial paralysis of an arm as a result of the condition.

If your child has Erb’s palsy, the recommended course of treatment will likely depend on the severity of the condition. Treatment may, for example, involve your child participating in daily physical therapy, or it may involve microsurgery or another type of surgical intervention. You can find out more about birth injuries on our webpage.

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