Florida Klumpke’s Palsy Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Klumpke’s palsy, or Klumpke’s paralysis, is a birth injury that results in paralysis and sensory deprivation to a baby’s forearm and hand. It is caused by shoulder dystocia that occurs when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone in a vaginal delivery.
The shoulder dystocia may cause damage to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves in the neck that connect the nerves from the spinal column to the nerves in the arm. Klumpke’s palsy is one result of an injury to the brachial plexus.
If your child suffers from paralysis and sensory deprivation in the forearm and hand that you suspect is due to negligent care by your doctor or health care providers during labor and delivery, it is important for you to understand what happened and the challenges you and your child face in the future. It is also important to hold negligent health care providers accountable and obtain fair compensation for your medical expenses, pain, suffering and losses.
The Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can assess the circumstances of your case, answer your questions, and explain your rights to you. If your child’s injury was due to medical malpractice, we will help you file a Florida medical malpractice claim and get the substantial compensation you deserve.
What Problems Does Klumpke’s Palsy Cause?
In Klumpke’s palsy, the nerves in the neck may be stretched or torn due to shoulder dystocia that occurred during a difficult vaginal birthing process. This causes problems for the mother and the baby.
Problems for the baby can include:
- Immobility of the hand
- Sensory deprivation in the forearm and hand
- Pain, ranging from minor to severe and sometimes, a burning sensation
- “Claw hand,” where the hand does not extend and the fingers are being drawn up toward the wrist.
The problems may clear up on their own, heal with treatment or never heal and cause the child problems during his or her entire life.
Problems for the mother can include:
- Tears and lacerations to the vagina
- Excessive postpartum bleeding
- Difficulty in urinating or defecating
- Injury to the bladder or urethra
- Pain in the perineum (area between the vagina and the anus)
- Uterine rupture
- Psychological stress
Some injuries may heal quickly. Others may never heal and cause the mother lifelong problems.
What are the Risk Factors for Klumpke’s Palsy?
The risk factors for Klumpke’s palsy are the same as those for shoulder dystocia and a brachial plexus injury. These risk factors include:
- The baby is in a breech position.
- The baby is too large in relationship to the mother’s birth canal.
- The mother is obese.
- The baby is overdue.
- There is a prolonged or difficult labor.
- The second stage of labor lasted more than one hour.
- It is a multiple birth, such as twins or triplets.
- A previous baby suffered from shoulder dystocia and a resulting brachial plexus injury.
- Improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor to forcibly pull the baby from the birth canal.
How is Klumpke’s Palsy Treated?
Both surgical and non-surgical treatments are used for Klumpke’s palsy. Physical therapy and pain medications, including topical ointment and oral medications, are non-surgical treatments that can bring relief. Surgical treatments, such as muscle or nerve transfer or nerve grafts may also be used to treat serious conditions.
If children have surgery, it may take months or years for them to recover, since nerves take a long time to heal. Meanwhile, they will need daily rehabilitation exercises to help them develop strength and feeling, but even then, the injury may be permanent.
When is Klumpke’s Palsy Considered Medical Malpractice?
Birth injuries occur when health care practitioners, including doctors, nurses, technicians and hospitals are negligent and fail to provide the appropriate standard of care. In cases of Klumpke’s palsy, this includes:
- Failing to identify risk factors prior to and during delivery
- Failing to monitor the mother and baby closely during labor and delivery
- Failing to properly manage a prolonged labor and delivery
- Failing to perform a cesarean section in a timely manner to remove a baby who is not progressing properly for a vaginal delivery
If medical negligence led to your child having Klumpke’s palsy, you should talk with an experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorney about how you can hold the negligent health care provider(s) liable and obtain compensation for the damages you and your child have suffered. Before initiating a medical malpractice claim, your attorney will ensure that you can demonstrate the four elements of medical malpractice:
- Duty – The negligent healthcare provider(s) had a duty to provide the standard of care accepted by other reasonably prudent practitioners practicing in the same specialty area.
- Breach – The health care provider(s) fell short of or breached the duty to provide the standard quality of care.
- Cause – The healthcare providers’ negligence in breaching their duty caused harm to your child.
- Damages – The harm your child suffered because of medical negligence caused damages, such as medical expenses, pain, suffering and diminished capacity to enjoy life.
If these four elements exist in your case, then your attorney can help you take legal action against the negligent parties to obtain substantial compensation for all the damages you and your child have suffered. Florida law requires you bring your medical malpractice claim within a certain period of time after the injury (typically two years but up to a child’s eighth birthday in cases where you would not have been expected to know medical negligence occurred), so it is important not to delay in contacting a Florida medical malpractice attorney.
What Compensation Can Victims of Klumpke’s Palsy Receive?
Under Florida law, you are entitled to compensation for all financial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury. This includes:
- All medical expenses, past, current, and future, that were a result of the negligence
- Loss of the child’s earning capacity as a result of the injury
- All rehabilitation costs
- Other financial compensation that may be available uniquely to you
You may also collect for non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for enjoying life
Contact Proven, Trusted Florida Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Florida medical malpractice cases are complex and require the skill and expertise of experienced trial attorneys. The Paul Bigger Knopf birth injury malpractice attorneys have won numerous multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for clients who were injured by medical malpractice and have the experience, skill and resources you can depend on to win your child’s Klumpke’s palsy malpractice case.
Attorneys throughout the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child was injured due to medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the high-quality legal representation, excellent personal service and dedication to achieving justice you deserve.
If you suspect your baby’s Klumpke’s palsy injury was caused by medical negligence, please submit our Free Case Evaluation form online or call us at 800-673-9585. We will discuss the circumstances of your case and your legal rights with you and advise you on your best course of action.