Mother’s trust their obstetricians to guide them through their pregnancies and the eventual safe delivery of their child. When risks are misdiagnosed or ignored, a seemingly ordinary delivery could be hindered by complications and difficulties. When a doctor’s negligent conduct results in a birth injury, such as Klumpke’s palsy, they should be held accountable for their mistakes.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice believe that doctors and medical professionals should be held to a high standard. When they fail to provide the level of care required to ensure the delivery of a healthy and uninjured child, they should be held liable for the harm they have caused. If your child sustained a preventable birth injury, contact our Maryland Klumpke’s palsy attorney immediately. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
What is Klumpke’s Palsy in Infants?
Klumpke’s palsy is the result of a brachial plexus injury – trauma or an injury to the network of nerves that relay signals between the brain to the shoulder, arm, and hand of the child. These injuries are commonly obstetric in nature and often are the result of medical malpractice during a challenging delivery.
When the damage is to the lower roots of the brachial plexus, the result is a partial or permanent paralysis to the lower forearm or hand of the child. The most common cause of Klumpke’s palsy in infants is complications from a traumatic vaginal delivery. This risk increases if the child is significantly larger than average or if the mother is small. The root brachial plexus injury is typically the result of unnecessary force on a child’s arm while pulling the infant through the birth canal. While some instances of a brachial plexus injury resulting in Klumpke’s palsy are unavoidable, many injuries could have been prevented through proper medical treatment or were caused by the negligent conduct of the obstetrician or medical team.
Degrees of Klumpke’s Palsy Suffered After a Birth Injury in Maryland
The severity of nerve damage and subsequent degree of Klumpke’s palsy your infant suffers is related directly to the type of injury that occurred to the brachial plexus. The most severe injury occurs when the nerve is torn entirely from the spine, resulting in the permanent paralysis of the lower arm and hand. If the nerve is only slightly damaged, then your child will suffer only partial paralysis or a weakness in the muscles of the affected area. Depending on the severity of the injury, Klumpke’s palsy might be untreatable, require months or years of physical therapy, or heal on its own. When the injury is the result of negligent conduct by your doctor, you should be compensated for all the medical costs and expenses arising from the injury and its treatment.
Should Doctors Know How to Prevent Klumpke’s Palsy in Infants?
In nearly every case, the injury that results in Klumpke’s palsy during birth is preventable. Many of the complications that pose a risk of a brachial plexus injury are foreseeable and should be recognized before the delivery. For example, a doctor should be aware that a child is in an unsafe birthing position or is unusually large. If these signs are either missed or ignored, then the doctor and medical team could be held responsible for any harm that occurs.
When a vaginal birth is going to be difficult, a doctor could order a c-section or have the proper equipment ready if it was immediately required. Often, a cesarean section is a safer way to deliver a child than using surgical instruments, such as forceps, to assist a complicated birth.
The Role of Medical Malpractice in Infant Klumpke’s Palsy
As stated, Klumpke’s palsy occurs as the result of trauma or an injury to the brachial plexus during delivery. Sometimes, this happens when a baby becomes trapped in their mother’s pelvic bone, and their shoulder suffers an injury.
However, a common cause of a brachial plexus injury is excessive force placed on the child’s shoulder when a doctor is physically assisting the birthing process. When forceps are negligently applied, or a vacuum extractor is inappropriately used, the risk of the child suffering a life-altering injury increases.
Klumpke’s palsy is often preventable, and the result of medical mistakes or negligence. Because the injury is usually avoidable, if it occurs, there is typically a basis for a medical malpractice claim. Some of the common errors that cause a brachial plexus injury and Klumpke’s palsy include the excessive use of force when applying forceps to the child, the incorrect operation of a vacuum extractor, or the failure to order a c-section to avoid the complications associated with a difficult vaginal birth.
Medical malpractice occurs when your doctor or their medical team fails to take the steps a similarly trained professional would have taken under the same circumstances. If a reasonable physician would have ordered a c-section given the condition of you and your child, then your doctor could be guilty of medical malpractice if they choose an alternative method. Our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys have the resources and medical experts available to argue that your doctor failed to take the reasonable and proper steps necessary to avoid an injury to your child.
Call Our Maryland Klumpke’s Palsy Attorney for a Free Consultation
Brachial plexus injuries that result in partial or permanent paralysis in your child’s lower arm or hand are often avoidable. You should be compensated for the emotional suffering and the expense of physical therapy if your child suffers from Klumpke’s palsy due to the negligent conduct of your obstetrician or their medical team. Contact our Maryland birth injury lawyers for Klumpke’s palsy to review your legal rights and options. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.