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Erb's Palsy

Erb’s Palsy is the loss of use, partial paralysis, or full paralysis of an upper extremity and can be caused by obstetrical medical malpractice.

Located in the inner portion of the armpit is the brachial plexus which is a connection of nerves emanating from the spinal cord some of which enervate, and control the upper extremities. A partial tearing of those nerves can result from obstetrical birth injury caused by the failure of the delivering obstetrician to use the proper care or technique when delivering the fetus. This lack of proper technique results in a partial or complete tear of the nerves enervating the upper extremity leading to a full or partial paralysis. This is called Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Palsy

This most unfortunate event is, in almost all instances, avoidable with proper care, sometimes with cesarean section delivery.

Obstetrics is unfortunately an area that sometimes is involved in catastrophic and serious damage to a new born.

Birth Trauma is a general term used to describe injury during the birthing process often as a result of improper medical care. It can result in partial loss of use of an arm and hand Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Palsy, or in Traumatic Brain Injury.

During the birthing process the fetus must be monitored to determine the viability of the fetus and whether or not he or she is receiving the proper amount of oxygen needed to sustain life and not to harm the fetus. Cerebral Palsy and Brain Damage are known to be caused by oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. A lack of oxygen to the fetus can be caused by obstetrical problems which must be medically managed in a proper way.

One of the safest ways of delivering a child when there is a threat of impeding lack of oxygen is delivery by Cesarean Section. The failure to perform a cesarean section to deliver the child safely can be the basis of a medical malpractice case when the resulting damage affects either the brain, causing Brain Damage or the limbs of an infant causing a palsy Erb’s Palsy, or Brachial Plexus injury.

Birth Related Arm Injuries can also be caused by Obstetrical Malpractice where the doctor does not use the proper maneuvers resulting in Erb’s Palsy, or Brachial Plexus Palsy. Here the shoulder of the almost new born is lodged or stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone. If the physician delivering the baby performs an improper maneuver he or she can stretch or tear of the nerves in the brachial plexus which causes a partial or full paralysis of the child’s arm and hand, usually permanent. This too can be the basis of malpractice case resulting in Erb’s Palsy, or Brachial Palsy.