A baby’s brachial plexus nerves can be severely torn if the baby’s head and neck are pulled too hard during a difficult delivery. Signs of brachial plexus palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy, often appear shortly after a newborn is delivered.
Brachial plexus palsy symptoms include:
- Arm bent at elbow and held close to the body
- Weak grip by the affected arm
- Lack of movement of the arm or hand
- Absent reflexes in the affected arm
These symptoms may go away in a few weeks, but they can also point to a lifelong physical disability if the physical damage was severe during birth. A physician may refer to brachial plexus palsy as a stretch injury until he or she knows whether the nerves were torn from the root.
Regardless of what the injury is called, parents should contact a brachial plexus palsy lawyer immediately in the event of this birth injury. It’s important to protect a child’s rights at the first sign of the condition, even if it turns out that the injury isn’t permanent.
Larry Cohan is a nationally-recognized brachial plexus palsy lawyer in Pennsylvania. He offers free consultations to families enduring the physical and emotional difficulties of brachial plexus palsy.