The labor and delivery of an infant places a lot of stress on both the baby and the mother. While a majority of deliveries proceed without threat to the mother or infant, current research suggests that as many as 3 out of every 1,000 infants will sustain a brachial plexus injury during birth, possibly resulting in Klumpke’s Palsy.
What Is Klumpke’s Palsy?
Klumpke’s Palsy is categorized as only one type of brachial plexus injury. It is an injury that occurs during birth when a baby sustains injury to the brachial plexus along the thoracic region. Klumpke’s Palsy differs from Erb’s Palsy based solely on the location of nerve damage.
There are four basic nerve injuries suffered during delivery that can result in Klumpke’s Palsy:
- An avulsion occurs when the nerve is torn from the spine during birth.
- A rupture occurs when the nerve tears, but remains attached to the spine.
- A neuroma can form when the nerve attempts to heal itself after being torn.
- Praxis occurs when the nerve does not tear, and often heals by itself in three to six months.
Statistics show that there is a brachial plexus injury every 500-1000 births. This type of injury is preventable in most cases. Doctors should know how to ensure a healthy delivery, regardless of the presence of complications.
Symptoms Of Klumpke’s Palsy
There are several degrees of symptoms that can be seen with brachial plexus injuries. Some of the most typical examples include:
- an ulnar claw (also known as claw hand)
- paralysis of intrinsic hand muscles
- ulnar nerve distribution numbness
- may result in Horner’s syndrome, with ptosis, and miosis
Treatment of Klumke’s Palsy
Treatment of Klumpke’s Palsy includes surgery that attempts to repair the damaged nerves. Physical therapy and daily exercise are recommended to increase or maintain range of motion in the affected side. There is typically no physical improvement after two years of age. In some cases, an occupational therapist can help the patient learn to live with the condition but these treatments can be time and cost consuming.
If you believe, or want to find out if your child’s injuries could have been prevented or were a result of medical malpractice, negligence, misdiagnosis, or not diagnosed at all, contact our attorneys at Martin G. Schulz & Associates. We are here for you and your child and ready to offer you with valuable advice and guidance.
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