Erb's Palsy

Erb’s Palsy is a form of obstetric brachial plexus disorder that occurs when an infant’s upper arm nerves are damaged. This is an adverse condition occurring upon delivery usually resulting in physical injuries to the infant ranging from mild to severe. Approximately one to two out of every 1,000 babies are affected with Erb’s Palsy in the United States.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Inability to Move Arm or Shoulder – this is one of the most common signs associated with Erb’s pals.
  • Arm Bent Toward the Body – an infant suffering with Erb’s Palsy may have the affected arm bent toward the body.
  • Weak or Absent Reflexes – the brachial plexus nerves are responsible for sensation and reflexes in the arm if these nerves are damaged the infants arm will not respond as it should.
  • Loss of Feeling – the brachial plexus nerves are responsible for sensation, if there are any damaged nerves the sensation could be lost.
  • Pain – at times infants affected may have abnormal sensations in the affected area; irregular or intense pain.
  • Decreased Grip – an infant could experience a decrease of grip in the affected arm.

If you believe your infant is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention.

A majority of the time, Erb’s Palsy occurs during the birthing period often towards the end of a difficult delivery lasting longer than 18 hours. Since the damage is located in the shoulder area, most of the time this injury is preventable and occurs due to negligence of the medical staff’s behalf.


What Causes Erb’s Palsy? 

  • Cephalo-Pelvic Disproportion – this is a condition occurring when the infant is proportionally too large for the birth canal. This condition should be easy for physicians to diagnose early on between the last few weeks of pregnancy.
  • Head-First Delivery – if an infants head gets stuck this results in the head pulling away from the shoulders causing shoulder dystocia.
  • Breech Delivery – if an infant is in breech position, a doctor will be able to identify this prior to birth. A C-section is advised so that there are not any unnecessary risks and complications during delivery. A risk associated with breech delivery is the baby getting stuck in the birth canal causing brain damage.
  • Forceful Arm Pulling – this is preventable and cause by a physician pulling or tugging on the infant’s arms.

If your baby was injured due to the negligence of medical professionals during the birth of your child, you can be compensated for your losses. At Floyd Hunter Injury Law, we know birth trauma takes a toll on the infant and family, let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.


Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 334-452-4000, or contact us by filling out the Free Consultation Form below.

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