Indiana Medical Malpractice & Injury Attorneys 
Newborn baby lays on a soft-colored baby blanket as a gloved hand reaches over to the infant

What is Erb’s Palsy?

When your baby’s neck is stretched during delivery, the result is a condition called Erb’s palsy. When the neck is stretched, the upper nerves of your baby’s neck and shoulder are injured, which impacts the movement of the shoulder, arm, and hand.

Read on to learn more about Erb’s palsy.

Erb’s Palsy


This type of injury can be mild, which means there will be minimal impairment of the arm’s function. When the injury is severe, your baby can experience total paralysis of the affected arm.


Erb’s palsy is a birth injury that is often caused by the doctor’s failure to exercise reasonable care in the delivery of your baby.

It’s common for Erb’s palsy to occur as a result of shoulder dystocia. This condition occurs when your baby’s shoulders are unable to pass through the birth canal at the time of delivery. Your baby’s head will pass through, but the body can’t follow because one of the shoulders is stuck.

Shoulder dystocia is considered a medical emergency because immediate action needs to be taken by the delivering doctor. The baby won’t be able to breathe until the shoulder dystocia is relieved.

It’s possible for the baby to experience anoxic brain injury or even death if the shoulder dystocia is not relieved right away. The physician must be careful, however, because if too much traction is applied to the baby’s head, the brachial plexus nerves can be damaged, which can cause Erb’s palsy.

Medical malpractice can occur if too much traction is applied to the baby’s head, or if the delivering doctor doesn’t execute appropriate actions to alleviate the shoulder dystocia.

Signs of Shoulder Dystocia

Your doctor should be aware of the following signs which express that shoulder dystocia may occur:

  • The baby’s size
  • If the mother has had previous births that were complicated by shoulder dystocia
  • If the mother is a gestational diabetic
  • How much weight the mother gained during pregnancy
  • How long the mother spends pushing

We’re Here to Help

If your baby experienced an injury during birth due to medical negligence by your physician, you may be owed compensation. Our team has handled hundreds of cases just like yours, let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away.

Call the medical malpractice attorneys at Garau Germano, P.C. today by calling (317) 854-5877 to discuss the details of your case.


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