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Basics of birth injuries: Erbs palsy and cerebral palsy

Most parents enjoy the birth of their child; however, parents who have a child that experienced a birth injury might remember the day the child was born with negative emotions because of the injuries. When it comes to birth injuries, there are two common types of birth injuries that might occur during birth. These are Erbs palsy and cerebral palsy. Knowing about both conditions might be a good idea for people in Pennsylvania who are going to welcome a new baby into the world.

Cerebral palsy isn't actually a single diagnosis. Instead, it is a complex diagnosis that involves any one of several disorders. These disorders can be caused by injury to the baby's brain while in utero, after birth or during delivery.

A child with cerebral palsy might have developmental delays that can include late talking or smiling. It can include vision problems, hearing problems, decreased muscle tone or poor coordination, as well as a host of other problems.

There are several causes of cerebral palsy. Those include birth injury like lack of oxygen during delivery that affects the baby's brain, use of harmful prescription medication during pregnancy, head trauma that causes prolonged bleeding and premature birth. While some of these aren't necessarily preventable, others are.

Erbs palsy occurs when the brachial plexus, a group of nerves going up the arm from the spinal cord, is damaged. This can occur if the baby suffers from shoulder dystocia, use of excessive pressure on the baby's upper body or failure to do a C-section when it should have been done.

This condition affects the baby's ability to move his or her arms. Permanent nerve damage can occur if the nerve is torn. This condition affects around two out of every 1,000 children born, and it is usually associated with larger-than-average babies.

Symptoms of Erbs palsy can include failure to move the arms, loss of sensation in the fingers and hands and limpness in the arms. Some babies might hold the affected arm close to the body.

When these conditions are caused by medical negligence, parents might be able to seek compensation for some of the medical expenses the child will incur. When you consider the lifelong cost of care, compensation might significantly reduce the financial strain of the condition.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy" Aug. 07, 2014

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