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Erb's palsy, a preventable birth injury: Part 2

As discussed in the previous post, a recent column in The Holland Sentinel discussed brachial plexus injuries and Erb's palsy and how they can be preventable injuries. The mother who wrote the column said that she wanted other mothers who are expecting a child or planning to have one to know about the injury in order to possibly have a better chance of avoiding it.

Many women may not even realize the different things that could go wrong during birth. It is their doctor's job to take care of them, but the more a pregnant woman also knows, the better chance there is of avoiding a preventable brachial plexus birth injury.

This woman's son was born at nine and 1/2 pounds and was caught in the birth canal during labor. The doctor had to pull on the child whilie a nurse also pushed on the child in order for him to be born. The baby was born with a paralyzed arm, or Erb's palsy. He had to have his arm pinned to his side for two months in order to protect the damaged nerves.

Now, he must undergo surgery at his young age and continual physical therapy. He will probably have physical therapy for the rest of his life and may not be able to participate in certain activities and sports, such as swimming. The mother now wonders if she would have had a C-section if the injury could have been prevented.

Source: The Holland Sentinel, "Brachial plexus: A child's injury that doesn't have to happen," Annette Manwell, Oct. 31, 2011

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