Paralysis of Arm During Delivery of Newborns

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

By Paul Rheingold

Brachial plexus injury is a loss of movement or weakness of the arm that occurs when the collection of nerves around the shoulder are damaged during birth. Unfortunately, due to the use of excessive traction or pulling of some babies during delivery, the newborn baby may sustain serious and often permanent injuries to his or her arm. This condition is better known with the medical name of Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus injury. An important new study has examined the causes and treatment of this condition. (Harefuah, 2010 Feb, 149(2):71-6, 126, 125) The physicians doing the study used a data base of deliveries in Israel and found a common cause of the injury which was the failure to the attending doctor to take into consideration the weight of the fetus; as the baby got bigger it was risky to do a normal vaginal delivery.

There are some well known maneuvers doctors must use to deliver an impacted shoulder in order to deliver the fetus without having to yank on its shoulder and causing an Erb’s palsy. Our firm has considerable experience in litigating brachial plexus damage cases, and will investigate a case without charge of the parents. If your child has suffered due to nerve damage resulting from brachial plexus damage, and you feel medical negligence played a role, please contact our firm and we can help you explore your legal options.

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