Risk Factors for Erbs Palsy


Erb’s palsy was named for Wilhelm Erb, one of the doctors who first diagnosed the condition. It is also known as brachial plexus palsy, and the brachial plexus is a network of nerve fibers in the neck area connected to the spinal cord and all of the nerves in the arm.

The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) reported that the likelihood of Erb’s palsy is 0.5 to 2.6 per 1000 full-term live births. A study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics & Child Health in October 2004 also found that the risk was 0.9 to 2.6 per 1000 live births.

According to the Birth Injury Justice Center, Erb’s palsy accounts for 45% to 50% of all brachial plexus palsy cases.

These injuries often occur when the child’s body is pulled or stretched during delivery. A child may be diagnosed with this condition after having their head and neck pulled to one side while their shoulders pass through the birth canal.

Pulling on the child’s shoulders during a headfirst delivery can also cause the condition. Pressure on the arms when a child is stuck in the birth canal could also cause Erb’s Palsy during breech deliveries.

The use of extraction tools during delivery is also a risk factor. Other factors include:

  • Excessive maternal weight gain
  • Large birth weight
  • Second stages of labor lasting more than an hour.

Doctors will usually schedule Caesarean sections (C-sections) if a child is in the breech position to reduce the chances of Erb’s palsy. Lateral traction during a C-section is also a common cause.

Contact a New York Erb’s Palsy Lawyer Today

Was your child was born with Erb’s palsy in New York? Contact an experienced birth injury lawyer at Finz & Finz, P.C., to find out more about your rights and legal options.

Finz & Finz, P.C., can fight to help you recover all of the compensation you need and deserve. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (855) TOP-FIRM and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team today.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.