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What is Erb's Palsy?

Arizona residents expecting a newborn may not know about Erb's palsy, a condition also known as brachial plexus birth palsy. There are multiple conditions related to Erb's Palsy, and the main symptoms include weakness and complete or partial loss of motion in one arm. The condition was named for Wilhelm Erb, one of the first physicians to describe its characteristics.

Out of every 1,000 babies, one or two will have this condition. However, the majority of infants will regain complete feeling and function in the affected arm. Physical therapy exercises and assistance provided by parents and guardians play a significant role in negating the effects experienced by most infants. In serious cases, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Erb's Palsy usually happens because of a challenging delivery. If something goes wrong and a baby needs to be delivered quickly, force exerted while pulling the baby from the birth canal may result in nerves in the neck getting stretched, which can result in the condition. Other factors that can play a role in an infant getting diagnosed with Erb's Palsy are a prolonged labor, breech presentation and a large baby.

When a baby is born with Erb's Palsy or another kind of birth injury due to medical staff negligence, the parents of the infant might choose to file a lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for damages. The amount of compensation to be awarded depends on many factors, the most important being the severity of the injuries and the amount of negligence shown by the defendant. An attorney may be able to advise their client on the best approach to a civil suit.

Source: Ortho Info, "Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy)", November 13, 2014

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