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Birth Injury: Erb's Palsy

Erb’s palsy—also called Erb-Duchenne paralysis, Klumpke paralysis, and brachial plexus injury (BPI)—is paralysis or weakness of the arm caused when the nerves around the shoulder are stretched or damaged during birth. This injury is more commonly associated with shoulder dystocia during a vaginal delivery. The injury occurs when the baby’s head and neck are pulled to the side when the shoulders pass through the birth canal.

Erb’s palsy also occurs in deliveries with a head-first presentation when there is excessive pulling on the shoulders, as well as in breech deliveries where pressure is applied to the baby’s arms.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Carter Mario Injury Lawyers know the serious complications and expensive medical bills ahead for the parents of a child with Erb’s Palsy.

Some experts believe this paralyzing birth injury is preventable. Some of the common causes of Erb’s Palsy include:

  • Failure of the obstetrician to recommend a C-Section when the baby presents in the breech position or with shoulder dystocia.
  • Excessive pulling on the baby’s head and neck during delivery.
  • Delivery of a large baby.
  • Difficulty delivering the baby when the head has come out and the shoulder is stuck.
  • Failure to reposition the mother during delivery using the McRoberts maneuver.
  • Failure to reposition the baby during delivery using the Woods’ screw maneuver.

Because this type of brachial plexus injury occurs at birth during delivery, it is usually evident right away that your baby has some paralysis or weakness of the arms. However, the extent of the injury may not be known for weeks or even months. The medical malpractice attorneys at Carter Mario urge you to seek the advice of a medical doctor if you suspect something may be wrong.

Our medical malpractice team comprises both a registered nurse (R.N.) and medical doctor (M.D.) who are also attorneys. We know the complexity involved in a case like yours and we will do everything we can for you. Call us at (800) 900-6700 or fill out our free initial consultation form and get answers to your questions today.

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