What is Erb’s Palsy? Birth Injury Lawyer in Oregon Explains

what is era's palsy

Understanding What is Erb’s Palsy in Oregon: Birth Injury Lawyer Explains

While the birth of a child is often the happiest moment in lives of the parents, it can often be overshadowed by complications that may occur. Most babies are delivered free of complications. However, there are times when a baby is born and suffers a serious complication. Sometimes, complications are sadly unavoidable, but other times, these complications could have been entirely prevented. When preventable complications occur, this is considered to be medical malpractice. One of these sometimes unavoidable complications is Erb’s palsy.  But many parents ask what is Erb’s Palsy and how it can affect a loved one.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury. A brachial plexus injury occurs when there is damage to one or more of the nerves that run between the neck and shoulders.  Brachial plexus injuries can cause loss of movement, sensation, and even physical deformity. There are four types of brachial plexus injuries that could be the result of medical malpractice. These types include the following:

  • Rupture injuries – the nerve is damaged or torn but has not been separated from the spinal cord. This is a more severe form of era’s palsy, often requiring surgical intervention
  • Neuroma injuries – the nerve or nerves are ripped, damaged, or torn mildly just beyond the myelin. This causes scar tissue to build up, putting pressure on the nerve. Sometimes surgery is required to fix the injury
  • Avulsion injuries – Often a permanent injury due to complete separation of the nerve from the spinal cord. This is often considered the worst type of Erb’s palsy injury and can seriously affect the newborns movement, sensation, and strength. This type of injury should always be reviewed to determine if medical malpractice was the cause
  • Neuropraxia injuries – Tearing or stretching of the cover of the nerves. This can cause impairment of function, strength and sensation. This is considered the most mild form of Erb’s palsy

The extent of the damage and how the infant may be affected depends on the type of injury. Babies with this type of injury often suffer from this injury, requiring physical therapy, lifelong modifications, or even surgery. 

What Are the Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy Injury?

  • Inability for the newborn to move their shoulders or arms
  • Weak or absent arm reflexes
  • Obvious pain when the infant’s arms, should or neck are touched
  • Abnormal positioning of the newborns arm (bent towards the body)

How Erb’s Palsy Can Be the Result of Medical Malpractice

Erb’s palsy injuries can be the result of medical malpractice in a variety of ways. Examples as to how these injuries can be due to medical malpractice include the following:

  • Failing to recognize prior to labor and delivery that an infant will not fit through the birth canal (cephalopelvic disproportion)
  • Inappropriate use of vacuum assist or forceps during delivery
  • Excessive force when trying to remove the baby from the birth canal
  • Failing to perform a c-section when there is potential for harm to the baby during delivery
  • Failing to identify that the baby is too large for a vaginal birth

Our Birth Injury Lawyer in Oregon Can Help You Understand What is Erb’s Palsy and What Compensation You May be Entitled to

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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