Brachial Plexus & Erbs Palsy Injuries

A brachial plexus injury is an injury to a bundle of nerves contained in the neck. These nerves govern the movement of the arm and a brachial plexus injury will result in a neurological impairment in the arm otherwise known as Erb’s palsy. It has long term implications for child and parents alike as the damage is irreparable and will necessitate further surgical interventions as the child grows up together with long term aids and appliance needs.

This injury can be caused during the delivery of a baby when one of the baby’s shoulders becomes impacted as it passes down the birth canal, typically on the mother’s symphysis pubis, and the baby becomes stuck (shoulder dystocia). This is an extremely traumatic obstetric emergency for mother and clinician alike as the baby must be delivered before it is deprived of oxygen for too long and suffers irreparable brain damage or dies. However the person delivering the baby must also resist the temptation to simply pull hard on the baby’s head in an effort to affect delivery as excessive traction will result in damage to the baby’s brachial plexus nerves.

There are a range of standard and approved manoeuvres which should be followed including suprapubic pressure and the McRobert’s position in order to facilitate delivery of the impacted shoulder. Failure to adopt these procedures may be deemed to be substandard practice in circumstances where a child has been left with Erb’s palsy as a result of excessive use of traction in delivery.

If you have concerns in relation to your child’s delivery you can contact the medical negligence team. We have successfully obtained damages for a number of children who have suffered this type of injury and secured their future needs and requirements. 

If you have concerns in relation to your child’s delivery you can contact the medical negligence team. We have successfully obtained damages for a number of children who have suffered this type of injury and secured their future needs and requirements.

 

Recent cases of note

  • €340,000 damages on behalf of 10 year old boy who suffered Erb’s Palsy as a result of admitted mismanagement of labour & delivery 
  • €425,000 on behalf of 5 year old girl who suffered Erb’s Palsy as a result of complications at birth