Therapy, surgery help minimize symptoms of Erb's palsy

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Most birth injury stories are upsetting and focus on the things that a child no longer able to do as a result of the injuries suffered while he or she was being delivered. While in many of these instances the resulting injuries are devastating and difficult for parents to come to terms with, this is not always that case. A 14-month-old girl residing in another state is a good example of this. The girl suffers from Erb’s palsy as a result of the way her body was positioned when she was born.

The girl’s mother is quick to point out the positive things that transpired during the birth of her daughter. She claims her doctor was amazing and credits her with keeping her daughter alive. She said her doctor’s decision to pull on her daughter’s left arm to get her out was what was necessary to dislodge the baby from under her pelvic bone. That, along with the fact that the umbilical cord was wound around both the baby’s head and arm, made it impossible for her mother to push her out.

Unfortunately, that lifesaving action also inflicted a brachial plexus injury. The torn nerves in the baby’s shoulder and arm resulted in the Erb’s palsy diagnosis.

The condition was diagnosed early on and the baby began physical therapy for the condition. A few months later she underwent nerve graft surgery. Processed cadaver nerves were used in the process. While the girl’s arm does not function the way babies without the issue do, she is able to do much more than she otherwise likely would have been able to.

When it comes to birth injuries this sort of outcome is of course not typical. When the injuries are severe and the result of decisions the health care providers make, it is not uncommon for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed. Because of the expenses often tied to addressing such an injury, any benefits recovered are usually needed.

Source: Fox 23, “Owasso mother raising awareness after child’s birth injury,” Michelle Linn, Sept. 23, 2013