Medical Malpractice and Erb’s Palsy

Medical malpractice is among the leading causes of birth defects in America today. It is estimated that 1 in every 33 babies suffer a form of birth defect. They are presently the leading causes of newborn deaths in America, and the sad part of it is that most of these birth defects can be prevented.

Injury to the mother and/or child is the number one reason for most medical malpractice lawsuits. The parents have the right to sue for general damages in behalf of their child; these general damages can include the cost of future medication/rehabilitation and surgery (if necessary), cost of suffering, mental and physical pain and suffering, along with loss of enjoyment of life. When the injury is done due to the negligence and fault of the doctor or other medical staff, then the parents have every right to sue.


Erb’s palsy is one of the birth injuries that a newborn can suffer from. This is a type of nerve injury which affects the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves that affects the functions of the shoulders, arms, and hands of the child. Once the doctor forces the head of the baby out of the birth canal during delivery, he can damage the nerves between the shoulder and the neck (these nerves provide the movement of the fingers, arms and hands).

Most of the time this type of injury can be mild, and the child can gain physical control within a few months. There are, however, cases where severe damages to the nerves are done; either they can be avulsed or ruptured, inducing permanent paralysis of the shoulder and arms.

Children who have Erb’s palsy may require one or more surgeries to correct the damages to the nerves. Those who have been affected from the nerves below the elbow may have a lower improvement rate because of the location and distance of the nerves that need to regenerate. It is important to keep the muscles and joints limber and moving through exercise; this also helps prevent them from freezing in place.

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