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The effects of Erb’s palsy

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

For many Florida mothers, giving birth to a child is a physically and emotionally taxing event. Occasionally, there may be instances were a difficult delivery could actually cause harm to the infant. One commonly seen birth injury is brachial plexus birth palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves located in the neck of the infant. These nerves allow the infant to move the shoulder, arm, hand and even fingers. This nerve network is also responsible for giving feeling to these areas. If the infant’s neck becomes stretched to the side during the birthing process, the brachial plexus can be damaged. This may result in weakness of the arm or hand. The infant may also lose function the arm or hand.

An infant who has Erb’s palsy may experience loss of feeling in the affected arm, weakness in the arm or even total paralysis in the arm. While most newborns who suffer from this birth injury recover without need for invasive medical intervention, a doctor should continue to track the child’s progress to ensure that the nerves are recovering. However, if nonsurgical treatment does not work, a surgery may be required to improve the child’s chances of a full recovery.

When birth injuries occur during a difficult delivery, the infant could suffer from symptoms that may have a lasting impact. For example, if an infant suffers from Erb’s palsy, the child could lose permanent function in one arm. If a doctor fails to diagnose an infant with Erb’ palsy or other birth injuries, a medical malpractice attorney could represent the infant and the infant’s family. In some cases, the attorney may seek compensation for the cost of past and future medical treatment related to the injury.

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