Cerebral palsy is a blanket classification referring to a group of chronic movement, muscle and brain afflictions. Cerebral palsy (CP) may be caused a number of ways but most often it is developed during gestation, during birth or immediately after birth. It is a debilitation that could be avoided in many cases and is unfortunately often caused by the negligence of a physician or nurse in attendance during childbirth. It may also be caused by an accident such as a fall or car crash but generally in cases of older children and adults it is defined as a traumatic brain injury rather than CP. Cerebral Palsy is the one term that a new parents fear the most as it means a lifetime of debilitation and special needs of varying degree, depending on the type and the severity of the disorder.
Cerebral palsy can be classified into four types. Each type has unique causes and symptoms. The four types of CP are as follows:
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy – Characterized by involuntary muscle movements, athetoid cerebral palsy is also called dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Constantly changing muscle tone causes the child to have uncontrollable muscle movements. Athetoid CP is caused by damage to the basal ganglia often from diffuse damage to the brain. Athetoid cerebral palsy may result in quadriplegia.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – Damage to the cerebellum is the cause of ataxic CP. It results in diminished coordination. Children affected by this disorder will have unstable balance and reduced motor control. These children will often have erratic and jerky movements. Ataxic CP is the rarest form of cerebral palsy.
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy – The most common form of the affliction, spastic cerebral palsy can affect one or more of the limbs. When all four limbs are affected it results in quadriplegia leaving the child with no control over the body from the muscles being so rigid they are immovable. The bones cannot keep up with muscle growth hence another term for the disease – hypertonic cerebral palsy. There is often an associated mental disability in conjunction with the physical affliction.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy – When different forms of CP are diagnosed in one child, it is referred to as mixed cerebral palsy. It is usually spastic CP along with either Athetoid or Ataxic CP. There are cases where all three types are diagnosed in one child who suffered severe injury.
Learning that a child has been the victim of a brain injury causing cerebral palsy is heartbreaking and emotionally traumatic. It may also lead to a lifetime of special care and medical bills that can be astronomical in cost. Fortunately there is help and support for the parents and the child. There are many other parents who have experienced what you are going though and have support groups to help. There are also medical malpractice attorneys that are very knowledgeable and experienced in cases involving brain injuries before, during and immediately following birth. If you feel your child received a brain injury due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other medical personnel, it is imperative that you contact a medical malpractice lawyer with experience in cerebral palsy cases. In many cases you may be entitled to receive compensation for your lifetime of medical bills and special needs.
Dolman Law Group has helped the families of cerebral palsy victims in many cases where negligence was a causative factor. If you feel your child suffered a brain injury before, during or after birth due to the negligence of medical personnel, contact a birth injury attorney at Dolman Law Group as soon as possible. There is no cost to speak with a professional attorney for an evaluation of your case.
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New Port Richey, FL 34652