Erb’s palsy is a condition that arises when there is damage to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus are the nerves located in the neck that control movement and sensation in the arm. This condition can be caused by shoulder dystocia during childbirth, which is when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. When this happens, excessive force is often used in an attempt to free the baby, which can stretch or tear the nerves.
While most cases of Erb’s palsy will resolve on their own within a few months, some babies will suffer from permanent nerve damage that can cause paralysis or other serious problems. If you believe that your child’s Erb’s palsy was caused by medical negligence, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible parties.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
As we stated before, Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by damage to the brachial plexus – the nerves located in the neck that control movement and sensation in the arm. This damage can occur during childbirth if the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone (shoulder dystocia), and excessive force is used in an attempt to free the baby. This force can stretch or tear the nerves, causing Erb’s palsy.
Most cases of Erb’s palsy are temporary and will resolve on their own within a few months as the child grows and develops. However, some babies will suffer from permanent nerve damage that can cause paralysis or other serious problems.
The severity of symptoms associated with Erb’s palsy depends on how badly the nerves were damaged. In mild cases, the child may only experience some weakness in their arm. In more severe cases, however, the child may be completely paralyzed on one side of their body below the affected shoulder. Additionally, they may also experience loss of feeling or sensation in their affected arm or hand.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
As we mentioned before, Erb’s palsy is most commonly caused by shoulder dystocia during childbirth. Shoulder dystocia occurs when one of the baby’s shoulders becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone while they are being born. This can happen if the baby is large, if there is the excess amniotic fluid surrounding them, or if they are positioned abnormally inside of the womb (breech position).
When shoulder dystocia occurs, medical professionals need to take quick action to prevent further complications. In some cases, this may mean performing an emergency C-section to deliver the baby quickly and safely. However, if medical professionals try to deliver the baby vaginally without resorting to an emergency C-section, they may use excessive force in an attempt to dislodge the baby’s shoulder – which can result in damage to the brachial plexus nerves and cause Erb’s palsy. Additionally, if medical professionals do not take quick action when shoulder dystocia occurs, it could lead to oxygen deprivation for both mother and child – which could lead to serious brain damage or even death for both parties involved.
If you believe that your child has suffered from Erb’s palsy as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to file a claim against those responsible parties to receive compensation for your damages. An experienced Tennessee medical malpractice attorney will be able to review your case and help you determine if you have a valid claim against those responsible for your injuries.