Birth Injury: Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy birth injuries sometimes require a Washington DC erbs palsy birth injury lawyer. The day your child is born should be one of the happiest days of your life. But as many parents know too well, complications with delivery are still a danger to both mother and child. Atypical deliveries can lead to birth injuries that may affect the child permanently. One example is a Brachial Plexus injury, in which the brachial plexus nerve bundle is damaged during childbirth. This type of injury can cause weakness and even paralysis in the arms, shoulders, and hands, and when this is caused by malpractice, a lawyer is needed.
Erb’s Palsy is one type of brachial plexus injury, caused by damage to the C5 and C6 nerves, which are located in the upper area of the plexus. Erb’s Palsy is characterized by a partial to full paralysis of the arm, weakness in the arm, and a loss of sensation. The child may have a decreased grip and the arm may appear limp against the child’s body. In addition, the child may not be able to rotate the arm away from the shoulder. These signs can be diagnosed by a pediatrician during a physical examination.
The brachial plexus is the center of five nerve groups that extend from the spinal cord to the shoulders and arms. These nerve groups control movement of and sensation in the arm and shoulder area. Brachial Plexus injuries that occur during childbirth are caused when the infant’s neck is overly stretched, causing the nerves to stretch as well, and sometimes tear or rupture.
These injuries can happen when there are difficulties with delivery, especially relating to the infant getting stuck. For example, the infant’s shoulders may become lodged in the birth canal, which is potentially life-threatening to the baby because of the mother’s contractions. The baby’s neck may be injured as the delivery team rushes to complete the delivery. However, obstetricians are trained in several procedures to help move the baby from the birth canal safely and efficiently. Although these types of issues with delivery are rare, your obstetrician should be more than prepared for the possibility – it happens during approximately 1% of deliveries. The doctor should also be considerate of the mother and child when planning the safest delivery, and should know what complications to expect. For example, babies born to diabetic mothers tend to be larger than average, which can increase the risk of injury during a vaginal birth.