What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s Palsy, also known as Brachial Plexus Palsy, is the network of nerves that supply feeling and control to the shoulders and arms. Brachial Plexus Palsy is an injury to the nerves in the neck and upper chest. The injury can result in a loss of movement and feeling in the arm, hand and fingers. This injury often occurs during childbirth if the baby’s shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone, and the appropriate delivery techniques are not used.

There are four types of Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Palsy):

  • Neurapraxia occurs when the nerve has been damaged, but not torn.
  • Rupture occurs when the nerve is torn, but not separated from the spine
  • Avulsion occurs when the nerve is torn from the spine.
  • Neuroma occurs when scar tissue grows around the injury, and places pressure on the injured nerve, interfering
  • with the nerve’s ability to send signals to the muscles.

Symptoms of an Erb’s Palsy injury include:

  • A limp arm
  • Lack of movement in the arm or hand. The affected arm may flop when the infant is rolled from side to side
    Missing Moro reflex, which causes an infant to react when startled by a sudden, loud noise by stretching out the arms and flexing the legs
  • Inability to maintain the arm in a normal position (flexed at the elbow and held against the body)
  • Decreased grip on the affected side

The brachial plexus nerves can be injured when there is excessive pulling of the baby’s head during delivery. While some factors may increase the risk of injury, like high birth weight or breeched birth, Erb’s Palsy can also be the result of improper delivery methods by your doctor or medical team.

If your child has Erb’s Palsy, and was injured during birth as the result of a surgery, medication, or other medical treatment, your child’s injury may be the product of medical malpractice. You need an attorney that has experience in dealing with birth injury claims by your side to make sure you receive all the benefits and compensation you are entitled to. You need experienced and aggressive attorneys like Dan Newlin & Partners to help you get everything to which you may be entitled. Call us at (407) 888-8000 for a free consultation and to have all your questions answered regarding your injury.