1 (440) 442-6677


Get Legal Help

Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

Get Your Free Guide Now
Get a Free Case Evaluation

Klumpke’s Palsy – Risk Factors

Klumpke’s Palsy is a rare condition that primarily affects babies. It occurs most often during birth, especially vaginal births. While it occurs in 1.5 out of 1,000 births, it is important to know the risk factors for this condition.

Get A 100% Free CASE Evaluation     

What is Klumpke’s Palsy?

Elk & Elk

Klumpke’s Palsy is a condition which affects the brachial plexus and affects one hand or arm. It occurs when the C8 and T1 nerves are damaged. They may be torn or even just stretched, resulting in loss of signals to the corresponding muscles. Symptoms of this condition include loss of movement or weakness in the affected arm or hand and a loss of feeling.

The condition can range from mild to severe and may require treatment. Some cases may recover in just a few months while others can be more long-term.

Risk Factors for Klumpke’s Palsy

While you cannot predict when a baby will contract Klumpke’s Palsy, there are some risk factors that may lead to this condition. One of the biggest risk factors is a large birth weight, especially when the mother is small. This may lead to a difficult delivery, which increases the chance of Klumpke’s Palsy.

Another factor that increases the risk of the baby developing this condition is assisted delivery, where the doctor must help in the delivery either using forceps or a vacuum extraction. A breech birth is also at an increased risk because the arms may be extended.

Maternal diabetes may increase the risk because it often leads to a more difficult delivery or a larger baby than normal. Prolonged labor heightens the risk as well as well as shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s head has been delivered, but there is difficulty getting the shoulders through the birth canal. The result is that the head and neck of the infant may be pulled to one side, causing the nerves to become stretched or torn.

Many of these risk factors cannot be identified until delivery has begun, which is why doctors monitor labor so closely. If problems are indicated, a C-section may be performed. While this procedure lessens the risk of the baby developing Klumpke’s Palsy, it does not completely eliminate the possibility of the condition developing.

The condition may not be apparent at birth but is only detected later when weakness or lack of movement in one arm is discovered for the newborn.