Erbs Palsy is a condition that affects around 1% of newborn babies. Also known as Brachial Plexus Paralysis it is caused by an injury to the brachial plexus system of nerves that is usually sustained during birth.
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that run from the spine to the shoulders and down to the tips of the fingers. There are differing degrees in severity with much depending upon which nerves were damaged.
The condition is usually evident immediately after birth. In serious cases the arm can be left paralysed. There are four types of Erbs Palsy covering the ranges of severity, categorisation depends on which of the five primary nerves have been damaged and the extent of the damage caused.
How can this injury occur?
This injury happens when the nerves at the base of the neck are torn or bruised because the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pelvis during delivery. This is known as "shoulder dystocia". Although not usually foreseen there are a number of well recognised risk factors which any doctor or midwife should be aware of. Failure to recognise these may lead to a finding of medical negligence.
If you feel that you or a member of your family have been the victim of such negligence please contact us immediately for legal advice. You may be entitled to compensation.