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The lesser known, Erbs palsy, an overview

Babies are little miracles that are born every day. But sometimes births can go awry and have long-term health effects for the baby. Sometimes these health conditions are due to birth injuries occurring during the delivery. One lesser known birth injury is Erbs Palsy.

Erbs palsy, also called Brachial palsy, is a condition that occurs during the delivery of a child. During the delivery, a baby's brachial plexus is stretched too far causing varying degrees of paralysis. The brachial plexus is a series of nerve endings in the spine. This injury is almost always directly caused by the delivering physician's decisions during delivery.

Sometimes the delivering doctor does not recognize the size of the baby in relation to the birth canal, which causes excessive stretching of the head, neck or shoulders during birth. This can stretch or rupture the brachial plexus resulting in loss of sensation or paralysis of the arm or hands. Oftentimes the baby will hold the affected arm very close to the body and not move the arm at all.

Roughly 2 in every 1000 children are affected by this birth injury. Most of the time this is a preventable condition. If you or someone you love has been afflicted with Erbs palsy during birth you could have a case against the attending physician. It is important to consult a professional who can help clear up some of the confusion with both the medical and legal issues at hand.

Source:, "Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy," Accessed Sept. 1, 2014

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