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Mother tells story of birth injury that led to Erb's palsy

Certain kinds of birth injuries can lead to a condition called Erb's palsy. This happens when a child injured during childbirth suffers damage to the brachial plexus, which is a group of nerves in the upper part of the arm and shoulder.

Erb's palsy can involve varying degrees of paralysis, with injured children sometimes growing out of the condition, while others require multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy. Generally, the road is hard for parents and children alike, and often the injuries could have been prevented but weren't.

One mother's little girl suffered a brachial plexus injury about 14 months ago when a doctor delivering the little girl pulled on her arm to dislodge the child from beneath the mother's pelvic bone. The mother has since decided to spread the word about Erb's palsy, a condition she wasn't aware of until her daughter was born.

When the little girl was 6 weeks old, doctors diagnosed her with Erb's palsy. She has since begun weekly therapy sessions and undergone a surgery during which nerves were grafted into her tissue while scar tissue was removed.

More surgeries are expected.

The little girl has difficulty moving her left arm and hand, though she is able to lift things and pull at things.

Expecting parents in New Mexico should be able to count on doctors not to make surgical errors and to keep patients well informed, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. When a surgical mistake results in a birth injury, parents may need to assert their right to pursue compensation for medical expenses and other damages resulting from hospital or doctor negligence.

Source: fox23.com, "Owasso woman raising awareness after child's birth injury," Michelle Linn, Sept. 23, 2013

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