The video above is the first of a two-part documentary featuring an 18-year-old girl who suffers from the brachial plexus injury (BPI) known as Erb’s palsy in her left arm. This video gives viewers an idea of what it is like to live with Erb’s palsy and the effects the condition has on victims.
Erb’s palsy is frequently caused by abnormal or difficult childbirths. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is the most often the result of damage to the upper nerves of a an infant’s brachial plexus when his or her shoulders become wedged within the birth canal and the force used to pull the baby free stretches or tears the nerves.
The extent of the damage caused by Erb’s palsy can vary. Some children might be able to use their hands normally but cannot use their shoulder or elbow muscles; some children may have normal arm movements but struggle to control their wrists or hands; and some children might have no muscle control or feeling their arms or hands.
The sad truth about Erb’s palsy is that, like many BPIs, the conditions were completely preventable. Parents would be wise to consider all possible complications in making advance planning relating to childbirth procedures. You deserve to be informed of all risks related to decisions that must be made if your child becomes too large to deliver vaginally or the baby becomes wedged behind the mother’s pubic bone.
Too many parents simply place their trust in the obstetrician or doctor they have been seeing for years without considering the possible complications that might arise. Failing to expect the unexpected, however, does not mean that these families do not deserve the right to hold a physician or hospital accountable when their child suffers a birth injury as a result of negligence or medical malpractice.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers