Understanding Klumpke’s Palsy

Klumpke’s Palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury that affects the lower part of the brachial plexus nerves, which control movement and sensation in the hand and forearm. This condition is caused by damage to the nerves that run from the spinal cord through the neck and shoulder and down the arm. It typically occurs during a difficult delivery, especially when there is excessive pulling or stretching of the baby’s head and neck during delivery.

Symptoms of Klumpke’s Palsy may include weakness or paralysis of the hand and forearm, loss of sensation in the affected area, and deformities of the hand and fingers. Infants with Klumpke’s Palsy may also have difficulty gripping objects or using their affected hand for daily activities.

Fortunately, many infants with Klumpke’s Palsy recover without any treatment within a few months. However, some may require physical therapy, occupational therapy, or surgery to improve their hand and arm function.

Klumpke's Palsy
Klumpke’s Palsy

What Causes Klumpke’s Palsy?

Klumpke’s palsy specifically involves damage to the lower brachial plexus nerves, known as the C8 and T1 nerve roots. It is often caused by trauma or injury during childbirth, although it can also occur due to other types of accidents or injuries. The most common cause is excessive stretching or pulling of the baby’s head and neck during a difficult delivery.

The specific causes of Klumpke’s palsy can vary, but they typically involve the stretching or compression of the brachial plexus during childbirth. Here are some common causes:

1. Difficult childbirth: Klumpke’s palsy often occurs during difficult or complicated childbirth. Factors that can contribute to the risk of injury include:

  • Shoulder dystocia: This is when the baby’s shoulder becomes impacted behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery, causing the baby’s head to tilt to the side and stretch the brachial plexus.
  • Prolonged labor: When labor lasts for an extended period, there is an increased risk of injury to the brachial plexus due to the pressure and stretching placed on the nerves.
  • Large baby: Babies with higher birth weight, often weighing more than 8.8 pounds (4 kilograms), may be at a higher risk of experiencing trauma to the brachial plexus during delivery.

2. Assisted delivery: The use of certain assisted delivery techniques, such as forceps or vacuum extractors, can increase the risk of brachial plexus injuries, including Klumpke’s palsy. Improper or excessive force applied during these procedures can damage the nerves.

3. Maternal factors: Certain maternal factors can contribute to the occurrence of Klumpke’s palsy, including:

  • Maternal diabetes: Women with diabetes, especially if poorly controlled, have an increased risk of giving birth to larger babies, which can increase the risk of brachial plexus injuries.
  • Pelvic abnormalities: Certain pelvic abnormalities in the mother, such as a small or misshapen pelvis, can make it more difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal, increasing the risk of injury to the brachial plexus.

It’s important to note that the causes of Klumpke’s palsy are generally related to childbirth and are often preventable with appropriate medical care, intervention, and management during labor and delivery. Healthcare professionals should take precautions to minimize the risk of injury to the brachial plexus and provide appropriate assistance when needed.

Should You Hire A Birth Injury Lawyer for Your Claim?

If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury, it is important to speak with a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. A birth injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in court if you decide to file a lawsuit. When speaking with a birth injury lawyer, be sure to ask about their experience with birth injury cases, and about their fees. You should also be sure to feel comfortable with the lawyer and that you can trust them to represent you and your child’s best interests.

Here are some questions you may want to ask a birth injury lawyer:

  • How much experience do you have with birth injury cases?
  • What are your fees?
  • How will you be paid?
  • What are my chances of success?
  • Costs involved in pursuing a lawsuit
  • What are the risks of pursuing a lawsuit?
  • How long will the case take?
  • What can I expect during the case?

It is also important to be prepared to provide the lawyer with information about your child’s birth injury, including:

  • The date and time of your child’s birth
  • The names of the healthcare providers who delivered your child
  • Medical records of your child’s birth
  • Any other information that you believe is relevant to your child’s birth injury

Speaking with a birth injury lawyer is an important step in protecting your child’s rights and getting the compensation you deserve.  Call the Pacific Attorney Group today at 1-800-358-9617 and get connected to an experienced birth injury lawyer in California who will fight aggressively for you. There is never a fee unless we win your case and your initial consultation is free.