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Cerebral and Erbs Palsy: Birth-related Injuries

| Jun 9, 2014 | Uncategorized |

Some of the common cases of birth-related injuries come from two distinct conditions – Cerebral Palsy and Erbs or Brachial Palsy. Both of these conditions happen due to complications that arise during the delivery of the child; however there are also instances when cerebral palsy occurs before or after child delivery.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term used to describe a number of conditions that affect the brain function and bodily movement of a baby. It can come from an injury that the baby’s brain sustained while he or she is still inside the womb, or can come during delivery, or sometime after. Furthermore, cerebral palsy can be the result of the lack of oxygen in the baby’s brain during delivery

Here are some scenarios or situations that can contribute to the occurrence of cerebral palsy:

  • The mother uses a harmful drug during pregnancy
  • The treating physician or obstetrician fails to recognize the baby’s need for adequate oxygen, which happens in a caesarian section or when there is an unreasonable delay in delivering the child
  • There is a prolonged bleeding within the baby’s brain after delivery that is usually caused by head trauma
  • An extremely premature birth

The symptoms of cerebral palsy may take time to manifest, and they include the following:

  • Slow development compared to other infants when it comes to crawling, rolling over, talking and smiling
  • The child has a decreased or an abnormal muscle tone
  • Poor posture and floppiness of limbs
  • Poor coordination
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Involuntary movements

Erbs or Brachial Palsy

This type of birth injury happens in 2 of 1,000 deliveries, when the baby is injured in the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that starts from the spinal cord to the arms, giving movement to the arms and the hands. This usually happens when there is an excessive force or pressure being applied to the baby’s head, shoulder or neck as a result of the difficulty to let the shoulder area out, in a condition known as shoulder dystocia. This condition usually happens if the baby has a higher than average weight, as well as when forceps or other devices such as vacuum are used to deliver the baby. Because of the pressure, the brachial plexus becomes stretched too much, damaging the nerves and tearing them.

Here are some other possibilities that could contribute to the occurrence of Erbs palsy:

  • The physician or obstetrician fails to recognize that a caesarian section should have been performed because of the baby’s size
  • The physician or obstetrician fails to correctly and properly deliver the child in situations where there is shoulder dystocia
  • The physician or obstetrician uses excessive force or pressure in the baby’s head, shoulder or neck during delivery

The symptoms of Erbs palsy include the following:

  • Limpness or paralysis in the baby’s arm
  • Limited or no movement in the hands and fingers
  • Loss of feeling and sensation in the hands and fingers

If your baby has suffered birth-related injuries because of your treating physician’s lack of reasonable care while delivering your baby, contact The Kyle Law Firm so we can take a look at your case.