When a Birth Injury Results in Erb’s Palsy

During a difficult birth, some New York infants might suffer an injury known as Erb’s palsy. This may happen during a prolonged labor or with a large baby, or it might happen if force is used to pull the baby from the birth canal.

Erb’s palsy is usually diagnosed by a pediatrician. The condition generally affects the upper part of the infant’s arm. Symptoms can include a in the arm and some paralysis. The baby may be unable to move the shoulder but able to move fingers. There are four degrees of nerve damage, and the severity of the damage affects the treatment and recovery.

It can be treated with physical therapy. Parents are usually taught by the doctor how to perform it starting when the baby is about three weeks old. Maintaining the range of motion keeps the joints from stiffening. After three to six months, surgery may be raised as an option if the physical therapy does not lead to improvement. This needs to be done while the infant is still young since it is less effective on older babies. There will be additional exercises for the parents to perform after the surgery. Most infants do recover from Erb’s palsy, but in some cases, the damaged arm might grow more slowly than the healthy one.

A parent who believes that Erb’s palsy has occurred because of medical malpractice might want to talk to an attorney. Examples of medical malpractice could be if the doctor waited too long to address the problem or if the doctor was too rough during delivery. One necessity for a successful case of medical malpractice is demonstrating negligence. This would mean that the mother and child did not receive the requisite degree of care.