Injury Resulting in Erb's Palsy (Shoulder Dystocia)

Determining the cause of an Erb’s palsy birth injury

When an infant is trapped in the mother’s cervix, quick, decisive action is essential. Anything less could endanger the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain. However, when the obstetrician’s actions are too extreme or forceful, there may be an injury to the baby’s shoulder nerves.

Erb’s palsy is not cerebral palsy. CP is a result of brain damage. Erb’s palsy — also known as shoulder dystocia — is a result of damage to the nerve surrounding the shoulder. It affects movement in the shoulder, arm and hand. Often the condition repairs itself in a few months, but when it does not, paralysis can be permanent.

  • Erb’s palsy is preventable when the obstetrician properly diagnoses the situation during pregnancy or labor and takes appropriate steps for a safe delivery.
  • Excessive force from vacuums or forceps used in a desperate situation can cause Erb’s palsy.
  • Symptoms of Erb’s palsy include loss of muscle control, arm paralysis, facial paralysis on the affected side, finger and hand paralysis, inability to sit upright without assistance and limited movement ability.

Treatment of Erb’s palsy can be lengthy and expensive. The parents and child have a right to seek justice and the financial security required for the best possible outcome.

If your baby has Erb’s palsy, call an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

The consultation is free, and you can learn about your family’s legal rights to compensation. We are here to listen and to obtain expert opinions about your child’s birth injury. Call 612.587.2925 or send an email for an appointment. We represent clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin.