Klumpke’s Palsy . Experienced Ohio Klumpke’s Palsy Attorney

Klumpke’s Palsy

Your Trusted Resource for Cleveland Klumpke’s Palsy Lawsuits

Birth injuries can affect your child for their entire life. Understanding what happened and how can help you get them the right medical care and legal advocacy to move forward. Here’s what to know about one common birth injury called Klumpke’s Palsy and what to do next if you think your child may be affected by this condition.

What Is Klumpke’s Palsy?

Klumpke's palsy is a kind of arm paralysis that results from an injury to the brachial plexus nerve located in the shoulder. Sometimes, this condition is called Dejerine-Klumpke palsy or Klumpke's paralysis and mostly impacts the muscles in the hand, wrist, and forearm of the affected side.

Klumpke’s palsy is most common in cases of large birth weight or when the baby is pulled too roughly from the vaginal canal. Occasionally, this condition may be caused by a tumor in the collarbone or lungs if it compresses the brachial plexus nerve.

Risk Factors

Some babies are at a higher risk for Klumpke’s palsy than others, including those who:

  1. Are in breech position. Babies who aren't head down during birth may experience damage to the muscles and nerves as they move awkwardly through the vaginal canal. 
  2. Have a high birth weight or are born to small mothers. Mothers with a small pelvis or who are giving birth to large babies tend to have more difficult labors, increasing the chances that the baby will be pulled. 
  3. Are born to mothers with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is known to cause macrosomia, which is when an infant’s birth weight is 10 lbs or greater.
  4. Have a prolonged second stage of labor. Mothers who labor for a long time can become exhausted by the time they need to push, putting the baby at risk of oxygen deprivation if not delivered quickly enough.
  5. Are delivered using birthing tools. While sometimes necessary, vacuum and forceps assisted birth can have consequences. These tools can cause more injury to a baby during delivery than if a doctor uses their hands. 

Symptoms of Klumpke’s Palsy

The most common indicators of Klumpke’s palsy include symptoms like:

  1. “Wasting away” of the muscles in the affected arm
  2. Eyelid or facial drooping on the affected side
  3. Limpness in the arm, wrist, and hand
  4. Fingers tightened into a “claw”
  5. Pain, numbness, and tingling

Some of these symptoms may be mild at first and even indistinguishable from movements that are normal for infants, like the grasp reflex. This is why testing is important to accurately assess potential nerve damage.

Physicians can usually diagnose Klumpke’s palsy with CT or MRI imaging and a physical examination to test for weakness in the arm or hand.

Treatments for Klumpke’s Palsy 

Making sure your child is treated as soon as possible if they have Klumpke’s palsy is key to their recovery. Most babies can start physical therapy and gentle stretching even if they are newborns. If the nerve damage is mild, it may only take six months to a year for a child to recover. In cases where the nerves were torn and are irreparable, physical therapy may only provide marginal relief.

Other treatments include topical and oral pain medication or surgery. Depending on the extent of the damage, surgeons may be able to transfer or graft muscles and nerves from a different part of the body to the brachial plexus area to help restore function.

Klumpke’s Palsy Lawsuits

It’s not uncommon for medical staff to play down injuries they cause or contributed to as “accidents.” But most of the time, negligence is a factor and they could have done something differently to prevent your child’s injury.

A qualified attorney can review your baby’s medical records to determine if any mistakes were made and help you bring forward a lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable so they don’t cause harm to anyone else. A successful claim can help you pay for the medical expenses your child will need throughout their life and lightens the financial burden of caring for someone with a disability.  

Was Your Baby’s Shoulder Injured at Birth? 

If your baby suffered a birth injury, you need someone you trust on your side who can help you go up against hospital legal teams and fight for your child’s right to compensation. At The Mellino Law Firm, we’ve helped families just like yours get justice since 1984. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your free case consultation with our Ohio birth injury lawyer at (440) 333-3800.

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