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What can cause Erb's palsy?

Not every baby grants its mother a stress-free and comfortable labor and delivery experience. Mothers throughout Pittsburgh have been subjected to a variety of medical interventions to help them bring their newborns into the world. From vacuum suction and forceps, to Caesarian section operative births, doctors have many tools to use to help women deliver their babies.

However, many of these interventions can come with a price. For example, the use of forceps and vacuum suction can place significant pressures on an undelivered baby's body that can cause him or her significant injuries and harm. One consequence of a poorly executed forceps or suction birth is Erb's palsy, a disorder that can lead to weakness or paralysis in a child's arms.

When a baby cannot pass through the birth canal on its own a doctor may use one of the mentioned tools to help guide the child through the canal and use force to move it if it is stuck due to shoulder dystocia. The force that a doctor applies can be too much and as a result a child may suffer an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus. Harm to the nerves of the brachial plexus can cause a child to lose sensations and movement in the arms and fingers and may limit the individual's activity levels in the future.

Many babies are born every year using the discussed interventions and do not suffer injuries that result in Erb's palsy. Responsible doctors who monitor mothers and unborn children during labor and delivery can often avoid such life-altering complications. However, not all doctors give their patients the attention they need to have safe and healthy birth experiences. Lawyers who represent birth injury clients can provide their clients with advice on how to proceed in litigating a possible Erb's palsy claim.

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