Unfortunately, during childbirth, there is always a risk for birth injuries to occur. Birth injuries can lead to anything from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to Cerebral Palsy. Another birth injury that can occur is Erb’s Palsy. This condition is caused by a physical injury during delivery and the effects can range from mild to severe, depending on how bad the injury itself is. Here is what you need to know about Erb’s Palsy.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
As mentioned before, Erb’s Palsy is caused by a physical injury during delivery. More specifically, it’s when the nerves in the baby’s upper arm are damaged. Its name comes from the fact that the injury occurs when there’s damage done to Erb’s point, which is an area close to the baby’s neck that merges cranial nerves together, creating the brachial plexus. The nerves in the brachial plexus allow a baby to move and feel its arms, hands, and fingers. Erb’s Palsy is when only the upper nerves of of the brachial plexus are damaged.
Typically, Erb’s Palsy is a result of a difficult labor and there are three common ways it can happen:
- The brachial plexus nerves can be damaged if the baby is coming through the birth canal at an abnormal angle. If the head is in one direction, while the arm is being pulled the opposite way, it could cause damage and lead to Erb’s Palsy.
- Shoulder dystocia can lead to Erb’s Palsy. This is when the baby’s shoulders get stuck in the pelvic area, making it difficult to deliver the baby. The doctor then has to use a more forced method to deliver the baby, putting them at higher risk for injury.
- A breech birth (when a baby is delivered feet or buttocks first) can lead to Erb’s Palsy. This is because the baby’s arm are likely to be pulled backwards over the head while the doctor is pulling the baby from its legs. This stress can cause nerve damage.
The length of time that Erb’s Palsy lasts depends on the severity of the injuries caused. Mild cases can clear up in just a few months with physical therapy. Most Erb’s Palsy cases clear up within a year at most with consistent and proper treatment. However, there are some more serious cases that can result in lifelong problems such as permanent loss of function in the arm that was affected.
Has Your Child Suffered From Erb’s Palsy? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
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