More than 5,000 children in the United States each year are affected by cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a serious birth injury that results from brain damage typically caused by a number of factors — including, in some cases, physician error or medical negligence — this type of birth injury compromises the body's ability to control movement and posture and may often results in seizures, intellectual impairment, behavioral problems, hearing deficits, and vision disorders. There is no way to reverse the effects of cerebral palsy, but some of the problems may be controllable with therapy, medication, and surgery.
Common Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty using the arms and hands
- Speech problems
- Problems with swallowing
- Problems controlling bodily functions (i.e. bladder and bowel problems)
- Hearing problems
- Vision loss
- Reduced sensitivity to pain or touch
- Learning disabilities
- Attention deficits
If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, he or she may have cerebral palsy or another birth injury. See a medical professional immediately for proper diagnosis and then consult a medical malpractice lawyer like Veronica Richards who is familiar with both medicine and the law at 866-740-3999.
Causes Of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy, which is a condition rather than a disease, is caused by brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth. Some of the following factors may contribute to cerebral palsy:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Oxygen deprivation or "asphyxia" before, during, or after birth
- Hemorrhaging in the child's brain
- An infection or illness in the mother — for example, rubella, toxoplasmosis, bacterial infection, HIV, or cytomegalovirus
- Intrauterine exposure to drugs or alcohol
- Rh incompatibility between the mother and child
- A hard fall, knock, or car accident after birth
- Asphyxia after birth — usually because of choking, near-drowning, or exposure to poisonous materials
- Meningitis or encephalitis after birth
In many situations, medical error, malpractice, or negligence may be to blame for cerebral palsy. Such situations include when doctors or attending physicians fail to perform the appropriate tests that may alert them to potential birth complications. Some physicians or pediatricians may fail to treat problems early that may interfere with an infant's development and growth. Often times the health of the infant was not properly monitored throughout pregnancy and delivery of steps were not taken to ensure a safe delivery.
There Are Four Types Of Cerebral Palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
The most common type of cerebral palsy, spastic cerebral palsy, accounts for nearly 50 percent of all such cases. It is characterized by stiff, contracted muscles and sometimes, by paralysis.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
The birth injury ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance, coordination, and depth perception. A child with ataxic cerebral palsy will often walk unsteadily, have poor coordination, and have difficulty honing fine motor skills. For example, they may not be able to tie their shoes or use a crayon.
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
Athetoid cerebral palsy results in involuntary movement of the hands, arms, legs, and feet. Some victims also experience speech problems, drooling, and other difficulty in controlling the facial muscles.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Some cerebral palsy victims suffer from more than one type of the condition. All four types of cerebral palsy can result from physician error. If your child has cerebral palsy, medical malpractice is one of the possible causes. If you suspect that medical error may be the cause of your child's cerebral palsy contact Veronica Richards today or dial 866-740-3999 for a free evaluation of your case. Veronica Richards, nurse practitioner-attorney is familiar with both the medical profession and the law. She knows what questions to ask to find out the truth behind your child's injuries. The lawyers at Richards & Richards truly care about your case. Do not trust just anyone handle your medical malpractice case.
Contact Our Firm For Help. We Will Fight For Your Child.
Our direct medical experience and decades of medical malpractice experience allow us to truly help people in the most difficult situations. For a free initial consultation, call 412-253-2092, toll free at 866-740-3999 or contact us online.
With our main office located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we are happy to evaluate medical malpractice cases from across Pennsylvania.