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Understanding Erb's palsy

Numerous types of injuries can impact an infant at birth. One of the most common is Erb's palsy. This most often occurs due to the baby sustaining an injury at birth that has adverse effects, such as lacerations and paralysis.

You can pursue a medical malpractice case against any doctor who failed to take precautionary measures to ensure Erb's palsy would not occur. Meanwhile, it is vital to know how you can help your child medically when he or she develops Erb's palsy. This condition impacts approximately one or two out of every 1,000 babies. It is more common than most people realize, but many do not know what to look for. 

Risk factors of Erb's palsy

Some infants will be at a higher risk of developing Erb's palsy than others. Doctors need to be careful, especially if they plan on using forceps or a vacuum extraction tool to remove the baby from the womb. Additional risk factors include:

  • Infant has a high birth weight
  • Second stage of labor lasts over an hour
  • Infant is in a breech position
  • There has been excessive maternal weight gain

Symptoms of Erb's palsy

The symptoms of the condition can be mild to severe. In some cases, the child will have weakness in one arm, and in other cases, the child will have total paralysis in the arm. Additional common symptoms include:

  • Impaired nervous, muscular and circulatory development
  • Numbness in one or both arms
  • Loss of motor or sensory function in the affected area of the upper arm
  • Decreased ability to grip items with the affected hand

Treatment for Erb's palsy

Infants with Erb's palsy need to go to a treatment facility where professionals know how to deal with the condition. These facilities have medical professionals who specialize in many fields, including neurology, physical therapy and orthopedics. From there, treatment can include surgery or physical therapy incorporating Botox injections around the affected site. 

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