Klumpke's Palsy - Consumer Justice Foundation

Klumpke’s Palsy

Written by Andrew Sarski on December 14, 2011
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Klumpke’s Palsy

Klumpke’s palsy birth injuries may result in medical malpractice lawsuits being filed by victims. If you have been affected by Klumpke’s palsy, contact a birth injury attorney to discuss your compensation options.

Klumpke’s palsy describes a variety of partial palsy of the lower roots of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that connect the spinal cord in the neck to the nerves that allow the arm to function properly. Klumpke’s palsy is a form of paralysis involving the muscles of the forearm and hand, resulting from a brachial plexus injury in which the C8 and T1 nerves are injured. Klumpke’s palsy can result from a difficult delivery in which the baby is large, the mother has diabetes, or the baby is overdue. This birth injury can be prevented with proper prenatal care, particularly for high-risk mothers, such as those who are diabetic. It is also important that the doctor delivering the baby is familiar with the proper procedures to follow should a situation arise in which Klumpke’s palsy injures are possible. Unfortunately, poor training or negligence sometimes results in babies being born with life-altering injuries like Klumpke’s palsy. If your child has suffered from Klumpke’s palsy and you believe a medical mistake to be the cause, contact a birth injury attorney for help.

Klumpke’s Palsy Symptoms

Children born with Klumpke’s palsy typically experience weakness of the wrist and finger flexors and of the small muscles in the hand. Additional symptoms associated with Klumpke’s palsy include:

  • Nerve injury
  • Sensory deficits
  • Patterns of muscle weakness

The classic presentation of Klumpke’s palsy is the “claw hand,” in which the forearm is supinated and the wrist and fingers are hyper-extended.

Klumpke’s Palsy Treatment and Complications

There is no specific treatment for Klumpke’s palsy, although physical or occupational therapy may help. Surgery is also an option for children who have severed nerves due to this condition. Common complications of Klumpke’s palsy include an affected limb that is shorter than normal, and constriction of the pupil in the affected eye if the child presents with Horner syndrome. Klumpke’s palsy can cause permanent paralysis, numbness and weakness in the child’s arm. Less than 50% of children with Klumpke’s palsy will recover on their own, and the prognosis is worse if there is associated Horner syndrome.

Birth Injury Attorneys for Klumpke’s Palsy

Klumpke’s palsy often occurs when the delivering doctor pulls on the head and neck of the baby if the shoulder becomes caught behind the mother’s pubic bone. Despite the fact that there are particular procedures doctors are expected to take to ensure a safe delivery when babies become stuck in the birth canal, some healthcare providers fail to follow these procedures, which can lead to serious injuries like Klumpke’s palsy. If you or a loved one has suffered from Klumpke’s palsy, and you believe a medical error to be the cause, contact a birth injury attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, doctor or Ob/Gyn charged with your care. With the help of a qualified birth injury lawyer, you can protect your legal rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

Posted Under: CJF
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