What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s Palsy is a nerve injury which effects the movement of a child’s hand, arm and shoulder.

Erb’s Palsy causes

The injury usually caused through birth trauma, when too much force is applied to the baby’s head while trying to pull the baby out when stuck in the birth canal.

The baby may be too large to pass through the birth canal easily.

If a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal, this is called ‘shoulder dystocia’.

Pulling on a baby’s head stretches and injures the nerves between the shoulder and the neck which provide movement to the arm, hand and fingers.

This collection of nerve fibres is called the ‘brachial plexus’, or Erb’s Point.

Erb’s Palsy Symptoms

Varying degrees of weakness or paralysis of the shoulder, arm or hand are symptoms of Erb’s Palsy.

The part of the arm that is affected depends on the nerves injured.

A baby with this injury will typically hold their arm down by their side with the forearm turned inward and the wrist bent.

A child with Erb’s Palsy cannot bring up the arm even when startled.

With a very bad injury to the brachial plexus, a child may have a droopy eyelid on the side of the injured arm.

Erb’s Palsy Physiotherapy

For a child diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, the treatment available includes: Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Nerve Grafts or Tendon/Muscle Release.

Treatment within the first year of life can have a significant impact on a child’s recovery.

Physiotherapy is used to teach parents exercises for their child to keep the arm limber as part of the rehabilitation process.

But, if progress is not being made, other options need to be explored. In some cases, surgery is needed for a child to have the chance to gain function in their shoulder, arm and/or hand.

Patrick Oliver, expert clinical negligence lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “Most cases of Erb’s Palsy could have been prevented. Mistakes made during pregnancy, labour and birth can result in injury to the brachial plexus and result in a child being diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy.”

Erb’s Palsy Compensation Claims

If your child has been injured during birth or your pregnancy was mismanaged, resulting in your child being diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, Patrick can help you and your family.

Initial advice is free to discuss your circumstances, and we can work on a No Win No Fee basis.

So, call Patrick for free on 0800 0351 999

The Erb’s Palsy Support Group, the Erb’s Palsy Group offers families support when a child has been diagnosed.