Erb’s Palsy is a paralysis of the fifth and sixth cervical nerves. It causes the arm to turn towards the body with the hand turning backwards.
Obstetrical Erb’s Palsy is caused by trauma at birth. When the shoulder of a baby gets stuck in the mother’s pubic bone this is called shoulder dystocia. Traction or pulling by medical staff can cause the baby’s head to be pulled from the shoulder leading to nerve damage. Often the nerve damage can be improved with a course of treatment over the first few months of life.
For some unfortunate babies the nerve damage is too severe to repair. Families and parents are faced with the shock that this is that start of a lifelong impairment. Support is available from Erb’s Palsy Association of Ireland for sufferers and families. A medical negligence claims can be brought to help cope with the financial burden. Compensation can ensure your child gets the best opportunities to progress in life the same as every other child.
Negligent Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Specific protocols on how to relieve shoulder dystocia must be followed. Often following these steps will release the shoulder leading to the birth of a healthy baby. Failure by the medical staff to follow the correct steps may result in unnecessary pulling (traction) of the baby’s head. This traction can cause nerve damage to the brachial plexus. Causes of Erb’s Palsy may include
- Failure to use the correct tools
- Incorrect use of force during the birth
- Failure to preform correct movements to release shoulder dystocia
- Failure to arrange a caesarean section where should dystocia was likely to occur
Proving an Erb’s Palsy And Brachial Plexus Case
Erb’s Palsy can be an unfortunate reality of a traumatic birth. In some cases however the damage could have been prevented if the appropriate care had been given during the birthing process. A variety of manoeuvres combined with suprapubic pressure can release the shoulder but the clinicians need to be extremely careful to avoid excessive traction on the baby’s head.
If the baby suffers a brachial plexus injury, this may be as a result of substandard care. Our team of medical negligence specialists can review your case in confidence. We will obtain the evidence to determine how the injury was caused. If an independent expert report is needed, we instruct only the best UK experts who are renowned in the field of Erb’s Palsy.
If you have questions as to whether your or your child’s Erb’s Palsy was caused by medical negligence, we can help you get the answers you deserve.
If you want to discuss this further, please contact Melanie Power direct on 061 513 055 or email our medical negligence solicitors on [email protected].