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What's the difference between cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy?

Parents-to-be often do not focus on the risks associated with childbirth. Mothers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere may try not to think of the chances their baby could be born with a disability or suffer harm due to a birth injury. However, the unfortunate truth is that birth injuries are possible, and the life of an injured newborn could be greatly altered due to the negligence of a medical professional.

Two of the most common birth injuries a newborn could suffer are cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy. While these conditions have similar sounding names, these birth injuries result from two very different conditions. What's the difference between cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a term that covers a number of disorders that could impact a baby's brain function and the movement of their body. There are a number of causes of cerebral palsy during labor and delivery, and it could be the result of the baby suffering an injury to their head while in the womb, during delivery or at some point shortly after birth. It could also be caused by a lack of oxygen flow to the baby during delivery.

On the other hand, Erb's palsy, which is also known as brachial palsy, occurs when a baby suffers injury to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that travel from the spinal cord up the arm. Erb's palsy occurs in about two out of every 1,000 childbirths, and most often occurs when excessive pressure is put on the baby's head, neck or shoulder.

No matter the type of birth injury a baby suffers, if a negligent doctor is the cause, parents can pursue legal action against them. A medical malpractice claim not only holds the doctor accountable, but also helps parents collect compensation for any losses and damages suffered.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy," accessed Dec. 17, 2016

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