Erb’s Palsy is one of the most common birth injury-related disorders, impacting as many as one or two out of every 1,000 births in the United States. The condition affects the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm and may result in some degree of paralysis and loss of motion in the area.
Erb’s Palsy typically occurs as a result of a birth injury during delivery. The good news is that in approximately 80% of the cases, the impact of the condition may be minimized by a treatment program that includes immobilization of the arm, and physical therapy. Surgery may sometimes be recommended when there has been nerve damage as a result of the injury. However, in order for the treatment program to be effective, it is important for the injury to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. A diagnosis made within 4 weeks after birth can help minimize the impact of the injury.
If the diagnosis is not made immediately, parents may find that the impact of the injury is much more pronounced. The level of paralysis may be much more severe.
A child who has Erb’s Palsy may find it impossible to lift the arm. The arm, in some cases, may be bent at an awkward angle or close to the body. Many children with Erb’s Palsy lose their use of the affected arm, making it difficult for them to perform daily routine activities, like bathing, or dressing themselves with ease.
The non-functioning arm may also make it difficult for a child to participate in recreational activities and sports. The affected arm may also be shorter than the other arm, making for a physical deformity that is very obvious to others. Not surprisingly, children who suffer from Erb’s Palsy are likely to suffer from lowered self-esteem and lack of confidence as a result of the limitations on their physical activities.
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, get in touch with a doctor immediately, and find out what treatment options are available to your family. Talk to a lawyer about whether you have a legal basis for a claim for compensation.
The Indianapolis birth injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent parents of children who have suffered a birth injury during or after delivery. If your child has suffered a birth injury, talk to a lawyer at our firm – initial consultations are free.