Cerebral Palsy

Baltimore Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Did Your Child Endure a Traumatic Birth?

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common and most serious health conditions caused by birth injuries and medical malpractice to infants or newborns. A result of brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, cerebral palsy has permanent effects on a child’s ability to move and develop throughout life. The condition primarily causes a disorder in the body’s ability to move and the muscle’s capacity to function. As serious of a condition as it is, Cerebral palsy is disturbingly common in American births. According to data released by the Mayo Clinic, two to four births out of every one thousand in the United States and Europe involve Cerebral palsy.

During childbirth, there are many steps in the procedure that can potentially go wrong. In the event that a child suffers from cerebral palsy, there can be factors that contributed to causing the condition. Cerebral palsy is a form of a non-progressive neurological disorder that can occur in infants or toddlers and usually affects development skills such as speech, muscle tone, and body movement. Most children who have cerebral palsy are born with it, but it may not necessarily manifest symptoms for up to three years after birth. When your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may have questions about why this happened or what can be done to offer the best life possible for your child. That is when a Baltimore birth injury attorney at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, LLC can step in.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy at Birth?

cerebral-palsey-medical-malpracticeAlthough the most common cause of Cerebral palsy is a delay on the part of the medical team to react to a birth complication, not all instances of Cerebral palsy are the result of medical malpractice. The condition is not always obvious upon birth but may develop over the first few years of the child’s life, when motor, muscle and nerve skills should be developing but don’t. Furthermore, Cerebral palsy is a “non-progressive” condition. This means that, as serious and debilitating as it may be, it will not get worse as the child’s life progresses. However, this does not take away from the fact that the symptoms and effects of Cerebral palsy will play a significant role in the child’s life.

There are three main types of Cerebral palsy, according to the location of brain damage:

  • Spastic Cerebral palsy: As the most common type of Cerebral palsy to occurs, spastic Cerebral palsy has the greatest effect on the child’s ability to move. The brain damage primarily affects the upper motor neuron lesion of the brain, which controls some of the nerve receptors in the spine. As a result, the victim will likely suffer from muscle stiffness and tightness which causes difficulty in moving. There are also forms of quadriplegia and paraplegia that are connected to spastic Cerebral palsy. This type of Cerebral palsy accounts for 80% of all cerebral palsy cases.
  • Athetoid Cerebral palsy (ADCP): This type of Cerebral palsy is not as common as spastic Cerebral palsy but can be just as serious. Athetoid Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the portion of the brain that controls voluntary motor control and muscle tone development. Due to the nature of the damage, a person’s ability to control muscle tone can result either in excited muscle spasms or the complete opposite, which would be rigidity. Throughout the victim’s life, he or she will likely suffer from involuntary movements, slurred speech, low muscle tone and or the inability to maintain an upright posture.
  • Ataxic Cerebral palsy: Accounting for approximately, 5-10% of all Cerebral palsy cases, ataxic Cerebral palsy is characterized by damage to the cerebellum, which is directly influential in the coordination of muscle movements and the ability to maintain balance. This relatively rare form of Cerebral palsy often includes a symptom known as intention tremor. Intention tremor manifests itself when the victim attempts precise actions, such as tying a shoe lace. As the action continues, the hands tend to shake more intensely, making the action difficult to complete. Other symptoms of ataxic Cerebral palsy include a distorted sense of balance and the loss or inhibition of muscle coordination.

While there is no known cure for Cerebral palsy, there is treatment and therapy that assists the victim of the condition to adjust to life with their form of palsy. However, these treatments are often extended, if not life-long, and can be very expensive. Cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice is a devastating and potentially costly result of medical negligence. Claiming compensation for the birth injury can help the parents of the child provide him or her with the medical treatment they need to have the fullest life possible.

Was Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy the Result of a Birth Injury?

Although every case of Cerebral palsy is a tragedy, not all cases are directly the result of medical malpractice – that is, not every case of Cerebral palsy could have been prevented. However, a substantial amount of cases every year are preventable and are traced back to a shortfall on the part of a medical team member. Common indicators of your child’s Cerebral palsy being the result of medical malpractice include:

  • The use of forceps during delivery
  • Delivery by cesarean section
  • MRI’s and brain scans conducted shortly after delivery
  • Resuscitation after birth
  • Required assistance to breathe

If you were unaware of the injuries that were sustained during labor or did not know that you child had cerebral palsy, then you may be eligible to receive compensation. Baltimore birth injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, LLC can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Our team of dedicated individuals stands ready to defend you and your family in your time of need. Contact a Baltimore Cerebral palsy attorney from our team today and schedule your free case evaluation.