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What Kind of Injuries Cause Erb’s Palsy?

 Posted on October 14, 2022 in Medical Malpractice

Winnebago County Birth Injury LawyerOur bodies are made up of complex, multifaceted parts. All of our bones, nerves, organs, and muscles work together to play an essential role in our mobility, health, and life enjoyment. When doctors who are supposed to treat their patients according to the highest standard of medical care fail to do so, patients can suffer serious injuries. One of these injuries is Erb's palsy. If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, it is important to understand how the injury occurred, whether a negligent health practitioner was responsible, and whether you can recover compensation to help you pay for your child’s medical treatment. 

What is Erb’s Palsy? 

Erb’s palsy is a nerve condition that is most commonly seen in infants shortly after childbirth. It is characterized as muscle weakness, loss of function, or loss of movement in a victim’s arm or shoulder, caused by damage to a bundle of nerves called the “brachial plexus.” The brachial plexus nerves are located in the neck and shoulders and are essential for helping the brain communicate to the arms and hands. Damage to these nerves can cause lifelong partial disability. 

What Causes Erb’s Palsy?

Brachial plexus nerves are usually damaged either by compression or traction. Either of these types of injuries are called neuropraxia. Compression neuropraxia injuries can be caused by an unusual head rotation, while traction neuropraxia injuries are caused by a pulling motion that separates the head and neck from the shoulders. The brachial plexus nerve can suffer from a forceful enough stretch that causes a partial or complete rupture. 

The most common injuries resulting in Erb’s palsy are seen in infants shortly after childbirth, when doctors often have to work to quickly deliver an infant and may accidentally or negligently put too much force on the baby’s neck and shoulders. Shoulder dystocia, a condition in which an infant’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone, can result in brachial plexus damage as the neck emerges from the birth canal, stretching the brachial plexus nerves. 

Doctors must be aware of the risk of Erb’s palsy and take great care to ensure that infants are safely delivered without suffering nerve damage. Not all cases of Erb’s palsy are caused by medical malpractice. Carelessness, neglect, or practicing under the influence of alcohol or drugs can also lead to mistakes that result in Erb’s palsy, causing the victim to potentially suffer from lifelong nerve damage, pain, disability, and expensive, long-term medical treatment. 

Call a Rockford, IL Erb’s Palsy Injury Lawyer

Erb’s palsy can affect your child’s life for many years to come. If your infant suffered from Erb’s palsy because of a birth injury, it is important to speak with an experienced Winnebago County personal injury attorney who can investigate your case and help you pursue compensation from a negligent medical professional. Call 815-215-7561 today to schedule a free consultation with a member of Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of Schwartz Injury Law. 




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