Klumpke's Palsy / Paralysis
Call Our Baltimore Birth Injury Attorneys
When an infant's brachial plexus is injured during birth, it can result in Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy, depending on what part of the arm is affected. Klumpke's palsy partially paralyzes a baby's hand and forearm muscles, while Erb's palsy damages the upper part of the arm. Both injuries are typically caused when nerves are damaged by excessive pulling during difficult deliveries.
If your physician was negligent in treating your child's delivery appropriately, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and therapy expenses. Talk to a Baltimore birth injury attorney from Murphy, Falcon & Murphy to determine your best course of action.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
Klumpke's palsy injuries may range from mild to severe depending upon the type of nerve damage your infant suffered. Excessive stretching of the brachial plexus may occur if the infant's shoulder is lodged in the birth canal, if the infant is large, if the labor is very long, if the mother has gestational diabetes, if forceps are required, or if the delivery results in a breech birth.
Four types of brachial plexus injuries may cause Klumpke's palsy:
- Neuropraxia: This may heal on its own and occurs when one or more nerves are stretched, but not torn. It is also the most common type of injury to this nerve area.
- Neuroma: This injury may require treatment to heal properly. It occurs when the nerve is torn, heals, and develops scar tissue. This may inhibit signal transmission from nerve to muscle.
- Rupture: Surgery (and oftentimes subsequent therapy) is required to heal a rupture. This means the nerve is torn, but not at the location where the nerve is attached to the spine.
- Avulsion: The damage from this injury may be irreversible. This injury occurs when the nerve is torn from the spine and may upset the size and growth of the arm or hand.
Treatment is available for all these injuries and differs according to injury type and severity.
Symptoms of Klumpke's Palsy
Since Klumpke's palsy affects the infant's hand muscles, one of the most serious symptoms is a claw-like hand position in which the wrist and fingers are extremely tight.
Other symptoms of Klumpke's palsy include:
- Intense pain and discomfort
- Weakness and inability to use specific muscles of the affected arm
- Limpness or paralysis of the affected arm
- Stiff and lifeless joints
- Muscle atrophy
- Lack of feeling or sense in the affected arm
- Droopy eyelids on the opposite side of the face (Horner's syndrome)
While most infants who develop Klumpke's palsy as a result of neuropraxia may experience a full recovery in just 6 months, more serious cases may result in permanent disabilities.
Discuss Your Case with Us
Our firm is ready to defend your rights against any hospital. Murphy, Falcon & Murphy's team of Baltimore birth injury attorneys is is dedicated to securing justice for families affected by medical negligence. If you believe your child's injury may have been the result of medical malpractice, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
For a free case evaluation, call 410.983.6266.