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Erb’s palsy: What is it and can I sue if my baby has it?

Erb’s palsy is paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the upper group of the arm’s nerves. This nerve damage is usually the result of complications during birth. The baby’s shoulder can get caught on the mother’s pubic bone during a difficult birth, leading to a strain or break of the nerves.

Other common causes of Erb’s palsy:

  • If the baby is born face first, Erb’s palsy could occur if the doctor pulls the baby out by their face or neck
  • If the baby is born feet first, Erb’s palsy might happen if the doctor pulls the baby’s legs and feet, causing the arms to go over the head. This puts undue stress on the shoulder
  • If the baby is too big for the birth canal, it can be pushed through the birth canal causing unnecessary stress on the arms, shoulders, and neck
  • If a nurse or physician picks up the baby by its arms instead of supporting its head and neck, they could cause damage to the shoulder’s nerves
  • Forceps or vacuum extraction tools used to aid childbirth might result in nerve damage and Erb’s palsy if used improperly

How do I know if I have a case?

If you suspect that your baby’s Erb’s palsy was caused by the improper use of tools or negligent actions of medical staff, you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in medical malpractice. Your attorney can get copies of your baby’s medical records and enlist the help of an expert to determine whether medical malpractice occurred during childbirth. Once your attorney determines you have a case, they can calculate how much it might be worth and your next steps to take legal action.

Contact a New York birth injury lawyer

Sometimes, Erb’s palsy will resolve itself over a period of months, but other times, the baby may need to undergo physical therapy or surgery to regain movement of their arm. If the injury the baby sustained at birth was caused by the negligent or careless actions of a doctor, the parents may be able to sue for compensation to pay the medical bills associated with Erb’s palsy. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are here to help you get the compensation you need so you can focus on your child’s health. Call us at (347) 318-9604 today.


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