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What is Erb’s palsy?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Expecting mothers in Georgia should have access to good health care, aiding in a smooth and risk-free birth. In most cases, this is exactly what happens. But mistakes can still occur, and negligent actions can lead to injury. 

This is the case with Erb’s palsy victims, who often suffer due to injury related to their delivery. Just what is Erb’s palsy though, and how does it affect your baby? 

How Erb’s palsy affects newborns

OrthoInfo discusses Erb’s palsy as a type of birth injury involving the brachial plexus nerves. The brachial plexus nerves control everything from the shoulder to the fingers of an arm. When it gets damaged, the arm suffers mobility loss. In most cases, Erb’s palsy only affects one arm. 

The degree of Erb’s palsy differs depending on the severity of the injury. For some children, they only experience some numbness or tingling and may struggle to grasp things in a strong hold. For others, they cannot even lift their arm. 

Erb’s palsy is usually caused by the stretching of the brachial plexus nerve. If it happens during childbirth, the baby’s neck or shoulder may have gotten stretched. It can also happen if the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the pelvic bone and the doctor pulls. 

The prognosis of Erb’s palsy

Fortunately, the prognosis for Erb’s palsy is good. Upwards of 90 percent of sufferers end up with a full recovery. Your child will likely need months or even years of physical therapy, though. This is often a traumatic and expensive time for the family, and it is also why people in your situation tend to look into legal options.