Our aim is to provide information and support for families and sufferers of Erbs Palsy striving to achieve better recognition and understanding of the nature, causes, and proper treatment of the condition. Erbs Palsy is a condition caused mainly by trauma at birth. It occurs when there is traction on the shoulder under the pubic arch. This can often cause the head to stretch too far away from the shoulder. A consequence of this stretching may be that one or more nerves become stretched or even the fibres within the nerves may be pulled apart. The degree of injury ranges from relatively minor to total loss of function in the affected arm. It is thought that 80% of children born with this condition may recover within three months, but so much more needs to be known about the 20% who suffer permanent paralysis to some degree.
The Erbs Palsy Friends & Family works with medical professionals to improve understanding and treatment for Erbs cases in Ireland. For example, we welcome the introduction of a specialised Erbs clinic at the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) in Clontarf, Dublin, which brings a co-ordinated approach to the treatment of Erbs cases in Ireland. The CRC has a team consisting of a neurologist, orthopaedic surgeon, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and psychologist. You will find links to other centres of treatment outside Ireland on this website under Resources.
We emphasise the crucial importance of early diagnosis and expert professional treatment of Erbs Palsy injuries as soon after birth as possible.
On November 30 1998, Mary and Karel Verbruggen launched the Erbs Palsy Association of Ireland, with other founder members, as an official charity to raise national awareness of this childbirth injury, which leaves babies with paralysed nerves in the arm. Mary's son Johan will never recover from the complete Erbs paralysis in his right arm. Initially Mary and Karel did not realise there were other Erbs children out there. They suffered from a tremendous sense of isolation as well as a lack of information. Within two days of starting this casual support group Mary and Karel found 28 families who are affected by Erbs Palsy across the country. Today we have over 200 members registered.