Questions about Erb’s Palsy
Salt Lake City, Tooele and Price, Utah
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a type of injury called a brachial plexus birth injury. The brachial plexus is a nerve bundle between the shoulder and neck. The set of nerves can be damaged during a baby’s birth when the baby is pushed or pulled, often while the baby’s shoulder is lodged behind the mother’s pubic bone.
The resulting brachial plexus nerve injury can be a paralyzed arm, shoulder and/or hands in the baby. The degree of paralysis and damage can vary greatly.
What are the symptoms of Erb’s Palsy?
Some of the early signs of an Erb’s palsy birth injury can include:
- Inability of the baby to move the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand
- Lack of control of shoulder, arm or hand movement
- Limpness in arm or hand
- Paralysis on one side of face
- No feeling in arm or hand
Can Erb’s Palsy be prevented?
Sometimes. There are times when Erb’s palsy occurs naturally and no one is at fault. However, in many cases, Erb’s palsy could have been prevented and is a direct result of a nurse or doctor’s negligence during a baby’s delivery. This can be a case of medical malpractice. An aggressive use of forceps or a prolonged delivery can lead to Erb’s palsy (and cerebral palsy, as well.)
What medical issues may result from Erb’s Palsy?
In addition to short-term and long-term paralysis, just a few of the medical issues that can be associated with Erb’s palsy include:
- One arm that is shorter than the other
- Shoulder that slopes downward
- Rotated arm
- Muscle atrophy in shoulder and arm
- Poor functioning hand and/or arm
- Arthritis in shoulder and elbow
How is Erb’s Palsy treated?
Physical therapy is almost always recommended for Erb’s palsy patients. An estimated one-fifth of all Erb’s palsy patients will need surgery to reconnect the damaged nerves. Early detection is important to a patient’s long-term prognosis. In far too many cases, a patient must deal with a lifetime shoulder, arm or hand disability.
If you believe that a medical mistake caused your child’s Erb’s palsy, you may be able to receive financial compensation. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, please contact the experienced Erb’s palsy medical malpractice attorneys at G. Eric Nielson & Associates, LLC.