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New York Klumpke’s Paralysis

Klumpke’s paralysis is a birth injury that is a form of brachial plexus palsy. The brachial plexus nerves are the nerves that are located in the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm. They control movement in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. If the nerves that affect movement in the lower part of the arm are affected, the injury is referred to as Klumpke’s paralysis. This type of injury typically occurs during a difficult vaginal delivery. As a result of the nerve damage, the baby suffers a loss of function in the forearm and hand. If your baby has Klumpke’s paralysis due to medial mistakes made during delivery, it is critical that you immediately contact an experienced New York Klumpke’s paralysis lawyer who has the resources and knowledge to stand up to a negligence doctor and hospital and demand fair compensation for the injuries sustained by your baby.

Risk factors for Klumpke’s Paralysis

Like Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s Paralysis is closely associated with shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is an injury suffered by a baby when his shoulder gets stuck during the delivery. As a result the nerves in the shoulder or arm are damaged. A baby is at risk for suffering shoulder dystocia and Klumpke’s paralysis if any of the following risk factors are present:

  • Large baby: If the baby is particularly large- 9 pounds or more—then there is a risk that the baby will be too large to safely pass through the birth canal.
  • Small mother: If the mother is particularly small, or has a small pelvis, then the baby may have a difficult time moving through the birth canal.
  • Postmaturity: If the baby is post term, then the baby is more likely to be large, and have a difficult time moving through the birth canal.
  • Prolonged labor: If labor is progressing very slowly, or if labor has stopped altogether, then it will be more difficult for the doctor to move the baby through the birth canal, increasing the risk that the baby will suffer an injury such as Klumpke’s paralysis.
  • Forceps or vacuum extractor: Using forceps or a vacuum extractor increases the risk that the baby will suffer a variety of birth injuries, include Klumpke’s paralysis because of the stress put on the baby’s nerves as it is being pulled through the birth canal.
  • Breech presentation: When a baby is pulled through the birth canal by the legs, the baby’s entire body is stretched, increasing the possibility of nerve damage.

While in some cases babies with Klumpke’s paralysis will heal on their own in a few weeks. In other cases surgery is required followed by physical therapy.

Pursuing compensation for Klumpke’s paralysis

As a New York Klumpke’s paralysis lawyer will explain, if your baby’s Klumpke’s paralysis is the result of medical negligence, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctor and demand compensation. Oftentimes risk factors are present that would contraindicate a vaginal delivery. It is up to your doctor to understand such risk factors and make a decision regarding how to manage your delivery based on the presence of such factors. For example, if you are petite, there is a chance that your pelvis is too small for a safe vaginal delivery. Likewise, if your baby weighs more than 10 pounds, it would be unsafe to attempt a vaginal delivery. If your doctor proceeded with a vaginal delivery despite the presence of factors that would increase the risk of Klumpke’s paralysis, and as a result your baby did indeed sustain a Klumpke’s paralysis injury, you have a case for filing a medical malpractice claim against the doctor. As experienced Klumpke’s paralysis attorneys in New York, we know that with careful planning many cases of Klumpke’s paralysis could have been prevented.

Through a medical malpractice claim, you can demand payment for your baby’s medical expenses related to the Klumpke’s paralysis. This may include the expenses related to physical therapy and surgery.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If your baby suffered an injury during delivery, you deserve to know what happened. If your baby’s injury was caused by negligent care by a medical professional, it is important that you have experienced legal representation. The Klumpke’s paralysis attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates are experienced in successfully representing clients who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of medical professionals. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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