Medical Malpractice at Birth May Cause Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy, also referred to as a brachial plexus injury, can be sustained during delivery as a result of a birth emergency known as shoulder dystocia.

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If a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pubic bone during delivery, it may cause Erb’s palsy by injuring the nerves that control movement and feeling in the shoulder, arm and hand. As a result, the baby may be left with brachial plexus paralysis, and suffer severe limitations in the movement of their arm.


In many cases, a brachial plexus injury at birth may have been caused by a medical mistake or failure to identify and react to the complication during delivery.

When compared to the number of births each year, the percentage of children who suffer brachial plexus injury is relatively small.  However, Erb’s Palsy may cause devastating life-long injuries that and severely limit what the child is able to do.

When a mother chooses a doctor or hospital to deliver the child, she places trust in that medical provider to use the proper care and attention to protect her and the unborn child. 

In many cases, a simple lapse in judgment or failure of the doctor to give their full time and attention to the mother in labor causes a brachial plexus injury and results in a child with Erb’s Palsy. There are also steps that can be taken before labor and delivery to reduce the risk of Erb’s palsy.

▸ Failure to Take Precautions to Prevent Brachial Plexus Injury

In many cases, a baby who suffers a brachial plexus injury is larger than average child at birth, or the mother’s birth canal is smaller than average.  Through the use of proper standars of medical care and attention, a doctor, hospital and medical staff should be able to anticipate potential problems and react appropriately to eliminate or minimize the risk of shoulder dystocia. Failure to do so may cause brachial plexus paralysis.

>>INFORMATION: Medical Mistakes Resulting in Erb’s Palsy

▸ Excessive Force and Overreaction May Cause a Erb’s Palsy

A brachial plexus injury may also be caused if the doctor or medical staff overreact or use excessive force when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pubic bone.  Too much traction or force being applied to the newborn’s head during delivery could cause an injury to the brachial plexus nerve, causing erb’s palsy.

Was your preemie diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula in the NICU or hospital? Find out if your family is eligible for a baby formula NEC lawsuit.


If an Erb’s palsy brachial plexus injury could have been prevented, and a doctor, hospital or nurse’s mistake is the cause of a permanent shoulder disability, the child may be entitled to settlement benefits through a lawsuit. The Erb’s palsey lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have the experience and resources necessary to pursue a financial recovery for the child.

Each state has a deadline that could bar the child’s right to pursue financial compensation, so time is of the essence. Request a free consultation and Erb’s Palsy claim evaluation, There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is secured for the child.