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Erb’s palsy: What parents need to know

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2020 | Birth Injury

Most parents believe that the birth of their new baby will happen without any issues. Unfortunately, some parents don’t get to experience that. One or two babies out of every 1,000 born suffer from a condition known as Erb’s palsy, which is also known as brachial plexus birth palsy. 

This condition produces a loss of motion and weakness in the affected arm. This occurs when the nerve bundle known as the brachial plexus becomes stretched during the birth process. It’s commonly associated with births that involve forceps or the use of force to help the baby descent the birth canal. For this reason, medical professionals must be careful when they attempt these maneuvers.

What’s the prognosis for Erb’s palsy?

Most babies who have this condition will completely recover. Many will need to have daily physical therapy, which is likely going to be done primarily by the child’s parents. It usually starts when the baby is three weeks old and should be done often throughout each day.

If the condition doesn’t improve within three to six months after the baby is born, surgery might be necessary to improve the baby’s chance of a full recovery. Even after the surgery, the baby might suffer from some weakness in the shoulder, hand, or arm on the affected side.

How does this type of injury impact the family?

There are many financial impacts that occur when a baby has an injury to the brachial plexus. The intense nature of therapy can mean that one parent has to take off work to handle the task. This has a negative impact on your household income. There may also be an increase in your medical expenses due to more doctor visits and other similar costs. Seeking compensation for the damages may help the parents to minimize the financial damages they have to deal with due to the injury.