Brachial Plexus Paralysis is often referred to as Erb’s palsy or shoulder dystocia.
Erb’s Palsy can be caused by trauma during birth and as a result of the baby’s shoulder being stretched in the birth canal, which can cause damage to the nerves in the baby’s neck or upper arm. Other risk factors may include a large baby, where the baby is in a breech position or when the birth is prolonged.
Erb’s Palsy affects the brachial plexus which consists of a network of nerves found in the neck and shoulder region. It is made up of five large nerves that come out of the spinal cord between the bones in the neck (the vertebrae), pass under the collar bone (clavicle) and into the upper arm. The nerves enable the signals that allow movement and feeling to reach the arm.
Babies who suffer with this condition often cannot move the affected shoulder or upper arm.
Symptoms may include a limp arm, unable to grip with the hand affected, loss of sensory and motor function in the upper arm and numbness.
The prognosis of Erb’s Palsy is dependent on the severity of the injury. Some babies do recover, however children who have suffered more serious injuries may live with lifelong problems and suffer with permanent problems with the affected arm. In addition to a physical injury, the child may suffer with a psychological injury.
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy chances are that this occurred during the time of delivery and you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you would like to discuss making a claim for compensation please call a member of our clinical and medical negligence team on Freephone 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no obligation chat or request a call back and we will call you.