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What causes Erb’s palsy?

Erb’s palsy is a birth injury that affects the spinal cord’s capacity to send messages to the arm, hand, wrist or fingers through natural nerve impulses. Babies who are born in Washington with this condition usually look as if they are paralyzed in the affected areas of the arm. Many require ongoing and extensive therapy to regain movement in the affected areas. Unlike some birth injuries, Erb’s palsy is preventable and usually caused by a physician pulling an infant too roughly or in an abnormal way.

If your child has Erb’s palsy, you may wish to better under the condition and how it happened. The Birth Injury Guide has the answers that you seek.

Erb’s palsy can happen during head first delivery, when an infant’s head gets stuck. When this happens, the doctor may pull the head too roughly, causing the head to pull away from the shoulders, thereby causing shoulder dystocia. Erb’s palsy also occurs during breech deliveries, when the doctor has no choice but to pull the baby out by the feet, causing the arms to go over the baby’s head and for abnormal stress to be put on the brachial plexus nerves.

The condition is also often the result of forceful arm pulling, which may occur when the baby comes out arms first, or cephalo-pelvic disproportion, a condition that occurs when the infant is too large for the birth canal. It is also not unheard of for the condition to result from a routine C-section. Whatever the cause of Erb’s palsy, it is important to know that the condition is almost always avoidable, as an observant doctor should be able to observe a condition (such as breech delivery, head first delivery or CPD) weeks ahead of a baby’s due date.

The information in this article is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as legal advice.