It’s a preventable birth injury that is often caused by the medical malpractice of a doctor who either pushes or pulls a baby out of the birth canal. Such excessive force can cause permanent but preventable injury.
Erb’s Palsy (aka brachial plexus palsy) is a medical condition that is normally precipitated by the birthing process. The severity of the condition ranges from return to normal range of arm motion to physical therapy or surgery.
Erb’s Palsy normally occurs during the birthing process as a result of shoulder dystocia where the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck against the mother’s pelvis. The injury usually occurs when the healthcare professional exerts excessive force thus straining the brachial plexus nerves. The brachial plexus nerves run from the spinal cord to the arm and control arm movement and flexibility.
Proper pre-natal care can make birth defects such as Erb’s Palsy avoidable. Risk factors for Erb’s Palsy include:
Above-normal weight gain during pregnancy
Advanced age of mother
Short or small mother
Flat, contracted or exceptionally small pelvis
Diabetes in the mother
If any of these risk factors are present during pregnancy, a planned C-section may be determined to be the proper course of action in order to prevent Erb’s Palsy.
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