Q: What is the difference between the birth injuries Erb's palsy and Klumpke's palsy?
A palsy is a full or partial paralysis and can come in many forms; two of those forms are Erb's palsy and Klumpke's palsy. Both Erb's and Klumpke's involve the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that begin at the spinal cord in the neck and control a person's hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. These nerves are fragile, especially in a newborn baby, so if there's any sort of trauma during delivery they can get stretched and result in a birth injury.
Since Erb's palsy and Klumpke's palsy both affect the brachial plexus, the difference between the two comes in to play when determining whether the upper or lower brachial plexus is injured. Erb's palsy is the result of the upper brachial plexus being paralyzed, while Klumpke's palsy is the result of the lower brachial plexus being paralyzed. Klumpke's palsy can involve the muscles in the hand, the flexors of the wrist and fingers, and sometimes the forearm. Erb's palsy will sometimes also affect the forearm, and all parts of the upper arm.
Both Erb's palsy and Klumpke's palsy can range in severity, with some injuries being temporary while others are permanent. Either way, it's unfair for your child to have to deal with a preventable disability that may have been caused by a doctor's negligence. If you live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Arkansas and you suspect your baby's birth injury could have been prevented or handled differently, contact the birth injury attorneys at The Girards Law Firm today for a free consultation at 888.333.9709.