Erb's palsy, also sometimes referred to as brachial plexus injury, Klumpke paralysis, or Erb-Duchenne paralysis, can be caused by nerve damage to a baby's shoulder during birth. It results in paralysis or weakness of the arm.
The nerve damage typically comes about when the shoulder is pushed or pulled, resulting in stretching or tearing of the nerve tissue. This type of damage can happen during a difficult birth, for example, where the infant's head and neck are pulled toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal. Erb's palsy can also result from pressure on the baby's raised arms during a breech delivery or from pulling on the shoulders during a headfirst delivery. In some cases, Erb's palsy can be the result of medical negligence.
If you think your newborn could have Erb's palsy, look for the following signs and symptoms:
- Your newborn is not moving his or her arm;
- Your newborn is not moving his or her hand;
- Your newborn does not have his or her Moro reflex on the affected side;
- Your newborn's arm is bent at the elbow and held against his or her body; and/or
- Your newborn has a decreased grip on the affected side.
If your baby demonstrates any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. In most cases, babies who receive proper care and treatment early on will be able to make a full recovery within six months. However, after six months, chances of recovery become much less likely. In some cases, nerve repair surgery may be recommended, but at this time, any potential benefits of surgery are unclear. If your child is not expected to make a full recovery, he or she may require certain ongoing treatments, accommodations, and potentially a lifetime of care.
Consult a California lawyer today
If your baby has suffered an injury as a result of doctor or hospital error, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages to compensate you and your child for the injuries that were sustained. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you seek the damages to which you are entitled so that you can pay for the care and treatment your baby needs. At the Law Offices of Robert G. Schock, we provide quality advice and representation for parents of babies injured during birth in Oakland, San Francisco, the Bay Area, and throughout California. Schedule your free consultation by contacting the Law Offices of Robert G. Schock today.