Erb's palsy, also called a brachial plexus injury, is an all too frequent birth injury. Out of 1,000 births, one or two children suffer this injury, which causes loss of motion and feeling in the arm.
Gestational diabetes develops is 7% of the 4 million women who give birth in the United States each year. These 280,000 women are at risk for complications of pregnancy that can cause severe injury to both mother and baby, including death. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has noted that this condition is increasing as obesity and older age at pregnancy become more frequent. Mothers with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for hypertension, preeclampsia, cesarean section and a 7 time increase risk of developing diabetes later in life. Their babies are at increased risk for macrosomia, hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, birth trauma, shoulder dystocia and Erb's Palsy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 137 conclude that the 2 Stage test should be used rather than the shorter 1 Stage test.
Erb's Palsy is an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus that control the movements of the hand, arm and shoulder. This injury is typically caused by improper pulling on a baby's head during delivery resulting in stretching and sometimes tearing of this nerve bundle. However, Erb's Palsy can also occur to adults who undergo surgical procedures and end up with an inability to raise their arm or use their hand. Injury during surgery can occur when the patient's arm is improperly positioned on the operating table and pressure or stretch is put on the nerve. The brachial plexus can also be injured directly when surgery is performed on the neck and the nerve is cut or severed by scalpel or the use of the electrocautery. Injury can occur if surgeons or nurses inadvertently lean against the patient's arm for a prolonged period of time causing pressure ischemia to the nerves.