During labor and childbirth, many dangerous complications can occur – and while some of these may not be preventable even with the best medical care, all doctors should avoid making mistakes that can lead to Klumpke’s palsy. Much like Erb’s palsy, this paralyzing condition is strongly linked to shoulder dystocia, which is a birth injury that can cause lasting damage to an infant’s delicate brachial plexus nerves.
When a doctor has failed to protect your child from a serious birth injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses. At Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys, our Jacksonville attorneys have represented families whose children have developed Klumpke’s palsy, and with $1 billion recovered for the injured in Florida and nationwide, we have the skill to advocate on your behalf when a medical professional has been negligent during delivery.
Contact us today at 904-309-6500 to get started with a free consultation.
While Erb’s palsy primarily affects the upper brachial plexus nerves, Klumpke’s palsy affects the lower nerves and is even less common. In fact, it’s estimated that only 200,000 people in the United States currently have this condition. When a child is diagnosed with Klumpke’s palsy, they may suffer from temporary or permanent paralysis in their lower arms. Klumpke’s palsy is often marked by the following symptoms in the forearms, wrists and hands:
As mentioned in the previous section, the primary cause of Klumpke’s palsy is shoulder dystocia, which happens when an infant’s shoulder or arm gets caught on the mother’s pubic bone during vaginal delivery. Without immediate action from a skilled physician, shoulder dystocia can deeply damage the brachial plexus nerves or the nerves controlling the back of the neck and upper limbs.
There are four kinds of brachial plexus injuries that lead to Klumpke’s palsy, according to the >National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
There is no immediate cure for infant brachial plexus damage or Klumpke’s palsy. However, depending on the severity of the injury, it is possible for the symptoms of Klumpke’s palsy to improve or even disappear over time. This is especially true with neuropraxia or stretching injuries. It’s also critical for infants to get prompt medical treatment after diagnosis, as well as receive ongoing physical therapy.
Aside from the fact that Erb’s palsy affects the upper nerves of the brachial plexus and Klumpke’s palsy affects the lower nerves, these injuries can also look very different in practice. For example, Erb’s palsy more often involves atrophy of the arm and shoulder muscles than paralysis of the lower arms. Erb’s palsy is also considered to be a broad synonym for brachial plexus damage, whereas Klumpke’s palsy is a more unique and specific form of this damage.
As with any medical malpractice lawsuit, you may sue a negligent health care provider over Klumpke’s palsy injuries if your case includes the following three factors: 1) There was a clear violation of the standard of care, 2) you can establish causation between that violation and your child’s injuries, and 3) these actions resulted in significant damage or injuries. Although milder cases may not meet the third criterion, doctors do have a responsibility to prevent and avoid shoulder dystocia. Those who fail to meet this standard of care may be found liable.
Our Jacksonville birth injury lawyers are here to expose malpractice and help you recover financial compensation for your child’s lifelong care. Because of our expertise in this field, we are often the most referred attorneys for complex obstetrical malpractice claims. We have the resources and experience to provide competent, aggressive legal representation.