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Defining Erb’s Palsy: What Is It?

This term is medically known as “shoulder dystocia”. This happens during birth when the nerves in the shoulder are stretched too much which can cause Erb’s Palsy. The extent to which the nerve is stretched depends on the force that was used during birth. Sometimes the nerve can be torn and other times it is simply bruised. According to the damage that is done to the nerve, it will be the determining factor in the child’s condition.

The symptoms of Erb’s Palsy can range from minor to severe. There can be paralysis in the arms either complete or partial. The arms can also become underdeveloped. The most common side effects of Erb’s palsy are pain, cramping, and stiffness of the muscles.

Birth Injury: Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a condition that occurs mostly in larger than average babies during birth. When the shoulder of the baby becomes lodged under the mother’s pelvic bone and the head is delivered normally, this is known as shoulder dystocia. The doctor will attempt to manipulate the baby within the birth canal and the mother’s position, which can be a difficult situation to rectify. The doctor will try to gently pressure the baby into coming out, but if the doctor is unable to, then a surgery might be required.

The woman who have had gestational diabetes, are short, have had prolonged labor, or suffer from pelvic abnormalities are at a greater risk of delivering a baby that will suffer from shoulder dystocia. This can be not only dangerous for the baby, but it can also be dangerous for the mother. Shoulder dystocia deliveries usually result in damage to the brachial plexus. An injury to the brachial plexus can leave the arm impairment.

Shoulder dystocia can happen unexpectedly. Symptoms will not always show that a baby might endure a shoulder dystocia during birth. When this happens, the doctors need to be prepared for any emergency. They need to have a medical team that knows how routine deliveries can sometimes turn difficult. The only thing they are able to do at that point is to prevent injury since they were not able to see it before. Usually, when shoulder dystocia is a possibility, doctors will often time order a Cesarian to be performed.

Doctors will sometimes use vacuum extractors or forceps to assist in the delivery, but these instruments are dangerous and increase the chances of shoulder dystocia occurring. Physicians need to explain to the mother’s and families what are needs that need to be done in order to safely deliver the child, especially when a problem has been detected beforehand such as a baby that is in the breech position or a large baby.

The Complications That Come From Erb’s Palsy

The typical period for the nerve to heal is between six to twelve months.  The nerve gets stretched and hardly ever results in permanent damage, although it is a shock to the nerve. Recovery may not be complete as sometimes scar tissue can form around healthy nerves. There are also times when the nerve is completely torn off of the spinal cord, known as an “avulsion”.

The doctors may have acted negligent or reckless during the delivery of the child. They may have been able to prevent such injuries or maybe the pre-natal care of the mother was not of good quality as they failed to see that there could be a possibility of shoulder dystocia. Whatever the reason may be, Percy Martinez Law firm will get down to the last detail.

Personal Injury Law Firm

Erb’s palsy can leave permanent damage but usually, it heals within six to twelve months for the less severe cases. Sometimes this could not be prevented, but other times it could have. Once a doctor encounters that problem, they need to provide the utmost care to ensure that no injury is done to the mother or child. If the doctor fails to do so and another doctor within the same field would have acted differently given the same circumstance, then they could be held liable for this injury.

Call Percy Martinez Law firm to find out whether a valid case can be brought forth the doctor or medical facility after a child has suffered from Erb’s Palsy. They fight to the for the victim to get what they deserve.