Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by nerve damage that most commonly affects infants. While both infants and adults can have Erb’s palsy, it’s typically more common in newborns and occurs during delivery if the baby’s neck is stretched unnaturally while passing through the birth canal. It can also happen as a result of bodily harm during a baby’s first few months of life.  

Incorrect medical procedures and incompetency of the medical team leading to a birth injury account for most cases of Erb’s palsy. 

Birth injuries do not just affect the baby but have a traumatizing effect on the entire family. While the baby may suffer long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological repercussions, parents and siblings also go through psychological suffering and financial difficulties. The emotional toll of the diagnosis can also make it difficult for the parents to care for their newborn. 

In such a case, parents are usually entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as the costs of therapy or medical care required. If you suspect medical misconduct or carelessness caused your child’s illness, you may file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit. Birth Injury Justice Center can assist your family in getting financial compensation to cover the costs of your child’s treatment. A lawsuit can also help you get justice against the medical personnel who caused the injury. 

Common Causes of Erb’s Palsy 

Erb’s palsy is a disorder that occurs when the nerves at the top of an infant’s neck that supply flexibility and support to the arm are destroyed, causing the arm’s motion to be disrupted. This disorder, also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, affects around one out of every thousand newborns. Some of the common causes of Erb’s palsy include:

  • Medical malpractice 
  • Stretch injuries to the brachial plexus in babies after difficult deliveries, such as those with a big baby, a breech presentation, or prolonged labor.
  • They can also happen when birth gets complex and the person assisting with the delivery needs to deliver the baby swiftly and pull the infant out of the birth canal with considerable force.
  • If the baby’s neck is stretched on one side, the nerves may be strained, resulting in damage.

What are the Symptoms?

Erb’s palsy causes weakening or paralysis of the affected arm. Symptoms usually improve or disappear over time with the right treatment. The injured arm may suffer from persistent weakening or paralysis if the nerves in the upper brachial plexus are substantially damaged. The prognosis is determined by the location and degree of the damage. Some of the most observable symptoms include, 

  • Difficulty and pain while moving the arm
  • The weaker arm has a bent elbow that holds against the body 
  • The baby has a weak gripping capacity 
  • The affected arm shows signs of numbness 

In this article, we will discuss what steps you should take after your newborn is diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.

  1. File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit 

If you suspect that your child’s injury is caused by medical malpractice, you should pursue a brachial plexus lawsuit to hold the responsible parties liable. By holding irresponsible medical practitioners accountable for their misconduct, Erb’s palsy lawsuits can provide families with closure and justice. Another reason to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit is that you may not be financially prepared for the greater healthcare costs and out-of-pocket expenses that children with disabilities face. Erb’s palsy lawsuit settlements will assist you in covering the expenses of nerve damage therapy. 

  1. Physical Therapy 

Physical therapy can assist in enhancing arm and nerve strength. This is frequently the case in milder situations, and it will cover both home and professional care. You should be fully informed about what is being done during these sessions. The exercises are very moderate and mild for a newborn with Erb’s palsy. Mild massage, strength exercises, stimulation exercises, and gentle stretching are among the most regularly advised therapies to aid in recovery.

An adult must assist the child by moving the arm as a newborn cannot perform these exercises on its own. Therapists can also show parents how to assist their newborn to spontaneously move the afflicted arm, allowing for a more active type of treatment at home. 

  1. Surgery 

A newborn may require surgery for the most severe forms of erb’s palsy. The goal of surgery is to alleviate pressure on the brachial plexus nerves so that they can recover naturally. It should be performed before the infant reaches the age of six months. 

Microsurgery is done on children as young as three months old under a microscope. If the infant suffers an avulsion rupture, surgery at six months may help them regain some function. Exploratory and grafting surgery may be performed if the child has scar tissue from a neuroma. It might be able to heal the nerve and relieve the tissue’s weight. Grafting has been known to restore a significant degree of functioning; however, the extent of the restoration will vary for each child. 

  1. Neuromuscular Electrical Therapy 

Neuromuscular electrical therapy involves stimulating muscles in the affected arm by using an electrical current. Although there has been little research on the procedure, it has been demonstrated to help newborns gain muscle and enhance blood flow. This form of therapy may also help prevent the weakening of muscles that a kid with Erb’s palsy cannot utilize on their own.

  1. Botox Therapy

Botox has been used to enhance shoulder flexibility in a child with Erb’s palsy. It is most commonly used to paralyze the functioning muscles in the arm, which then allows the development of weaker muscles. Although there have been few studies on the efficacy of this treatment, one found that children who had botox therapy had a better range of motion in their shoulder and elbow joints. 

The Bottom Line 

If you fel your child’s injury was caused by the carelessness of a medical practitioner, an expert birth injury lawyer can help you defend your legal rights and explore possibilities for seeking reasonable compensation for your child’s injuries. Compensation can be utilized to assist you in getting the best possible treatment options, some of which include therapy, surgery and botox treatment.