Klumpke’s Palsy: Causes, Signs, and Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

If a condition such as Klumpke’s palsy is preventable and linked to a healthcare provider’s negligence, a claim of malpractice for a medical case in Ohio may be filed.

Consulting Ohio medical malpractice attorneys in Cleveland can help parents of children who suffer preventable birth injuries learn if they may have a valid case worth pursuing. A lawyer can also provide legal guidance and representation throughout the legal process.

What is Klumpke’s palsy? 

The nerves that connect signals from the spine to the hands, arms and shoulders are called brachial plexus. When these nerves are injured, it can cause one of two types of conditions.

Erb’s palsy may be the result of injuries to the upper brachial plexus. Klumpke’s palsy may be caused by injury to the lower brachial plexus. Both can cause impairment or paralysis, affecting any or all of the hand, arm and shoulder on the injured side of the body.

What are the causes of Klumpke’s palsy? 

Injuries to the brachial plexus are sometimes the result of a difficult birth. This can happen under a variety of circumstances, such as a prolonged labor. This is when labor is moving too slowly or it completely stops. The reasons for this can vary. Some of the more common reasons are weak contractions, the birth canal is too small or the baby is too large.

If the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck while coming down the birth canal and any type of force is used to assist in delivery, it could cause injuries to the lower brachial plexus, resulting in Klumpke’s palsy.

Another circumstance in which this type of injury can occur is when the baby is breeched. Instead of the head coming down the birth canal first, the baby’s position may be abnormal which is the definition of a breech birth.

When a breech position causes the baby’s shoulder to become wedged, using force to deliver him or her poses a risk of injury. Depending on the circumstances of the labor and delivery, difficult birth and injury – and in some cases malpractice involving medical cases in Ohio – may be avoided by choosing a cesarean section over vaginal delivery.

Parents who suspect an error was made can review suspected malpractice by looking at medical case details with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland.

What are the signs of Klumpke’s palsy? 

The signs may or may not be immediately evident. It can sometimes take time before they are noticeable.

The affected arm may show some type of impairment. For instance, difficulty with gripping or inability to move the hand and/or any part of the arm may be a sign of this condition. Parents who suspect this condition or other brachial palsy conditions may be present should consult their doctor.

If it’s found that malpractice from the medical case in Ohio may have led to the injury, parents may consult Ohio medical malpractice attorneys in Cleveland to review legal options for recovery of damages.

What types of treatment are available for Klumpke’s palsy? 

Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. If it’s mild, it may heal with time. A pediatrician will likely keep a close eye on progress. If the injury is more serious, physical therapy might be recommended. Range of motion exercises would focus on muscle and joint movement.

In severe cases, surgery may be recommended. Some of the types of surgery may be performed include: 

  • reduction of the shoulder when the shoulder joint is unstable or easily dislocates because of muscle weakness;
  • tendon transfers;
  • microsurgery to reconstruct or repair damaged nerves; and
  • osteotomy to improve function through reorienting bones. 

Recovering Damages for Treatment Costs: Talk to an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney in Cleveland 

For help learning if a birth injury might have been caused by medical malpractice in Ohio, a medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland can offer legal guidance and utilize medical experts who may help establish negligence as a cause of a birth injury like Klumpke’s palsy.