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What is Erb’s palsy?

Expectant parents in San Diego deserve to enjoy every moment of the nine months of pregnancy and look forward to the moment when they hold their new loved one. Most of the time, this is exactly what can happen. However, there are sadly times when problems occur during the labor and delivery process that turns what should be a joyous occasion into a tragedy. One all-too common form of birth injury that can make this happen is known as Erb's palsy.

According to information provided by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons on its orthoinfo.org website, the formal name for Erb’s palsy is brachial plexus palsy. The word palsy refers to the weakness and the brachial plexus is the group of nerves in the neck region that control sensation and motor functioning through the shoulders and arms. As many as two out of every 1,000 babies can become affected by Erb’s palsy when these delicate nerves sustain damage during birth.

Any situation that may require some immediate manual manipulation of a baby during labor in order to pull it from the birth canal provides the risk of damage to the brachial plexus. This can include very large babies or babies in breech positions. Negligence in handling babies properly during this type of manipulation can cause serious problems. Depending upon the level of nerve damage, some babies can ultimate recovery feeling and movement while others cannot. The weakness or paralysis can extend from the shoulders to the fingers.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about Erb's palsy in California.

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