Futterman, Sirotkin And Seinfeld, LLP
Futterman, Sirotkin And Seinfeld, LLP

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Erb’s palsy could be natural or a result of physician error

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2019 | Birth Injuries |

Birth injuries can change an infant’s life. A young child that has barely been in the world could have life-shattering consequences to deal with when they’re older all because of mistakes that happened in the hospital.

One injury that can take place is called Erb’s palsy. This is a kind of paralysis that is caused by an injury to the main nerves of the upper arm. It is most common when the upper C5-C6 nerves are severed. These are part of the brachial plexus, which is made up of a number of spinal and thoracic nerves.

Who is to blame for Erb’s palsy?

It is true that some cases of Erb’s palsy are a result of natural causes, such as a difficult birth. In fact, approximately one in 1,000 babies have this condition. It may happen when the neck is stretched during delivery.

Many babies who have this injury will recover feeling and movement with daily physical therapy. However, more serious cases, like cases of ruptures or avulsions, may not completely heal without medical intervention. Sometimes, a nerve graft needs to be used to repair an avulsion, but it is not possible to repair one along the spinal cord.

It may be a medical provider’s error that leads to this condition in some instances. For example, if they knew that this was a difficult birth and opted not to order a cesarean-section, that may be a cause for concern. If they were not monitoring the labor, that may also be a sign of neglect and could lead to a medical malpractice case.