Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Lawyers
Our team of medical negligence lawyers handles a wide range of personal injury cases. If you would like to talk to one of our lawyers who deals with cerebral palsy compensation claims, please use the contact form on this website or email our offices. We offer free advice with no further obligation in order to protect your legal right to claim compensation caused by negligence. Time limits apply to cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuits and you should take legal advice from a lawyer as soon as possible after the negligent event that caused your injury. Please contact us today to find out how we can help.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term used to define a variety of neurological conditions which develop before, during or shortly after birth. There is often no identifiable specific reason or cause for cerebral palsy and less than 1 in 10 cases are ultimately attributed to medical malpractice.
Cerebral Palsy Overview
Cerebral palsy is a condition, which involves abnormalities of the brain as well as the ability to learn, hear, see, move and think. Movement difficulties are a big problem with cerebral palsy. There are different types of cerebral palsy which include spastic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, dyskinetic cerebral palsy, mixed cerebral palsy and hypotonic cerebral palsy.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy can be serious or very mild. It can involve only one part of the body or both sides of the body. It is usually seen in just the legs or just the arms but can be in both the arms and the legs.
Symptoms can be seen as early as three months of age but can occur as old as two years of age. It can express itself as a delay in motor function and in other developmental stages. Some symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy, the most common type, include the following:
- Tight muscles that move very little.
- They walk on their toes.
- Tight joints that are contracted and don’t straighten out.
- Weakness of the muscles or paralysis of the muscles.
- Abnormal gait including scissors gait.
- The symptoms on one side or just the legs or just the arms.
Other symptoms are seen in the different types of cerebral palsy. These include abnormal movements that worsen during stress, tremors, loss of coordination, unsteady gain and loose, floppy muscles. Non-movement symptoms include learning disabilities or decreased intelligence, speech difficulties, hearing or vision difficulties, seizures and joint or muscle pain, particularly in adults.
There can be digestive problems as well, including difficulty sucking or feeding in babies, problems swallowing foods and liquids, and vomiting and constipation. Increases in drooling, delayed growth, incontinence and irregular breathing are all features of cerebral palsy in infants and young people with the disease.
Cerebral palsy is caused by injury to the brain, in particular, a low level of oxygen in the brain. No one knows exactly why this occurs but it has a slightly higher incidence in preemies. You can get cerebral palsy from bleeding into the brain, head injury, infections in the mother during pregnancy, brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis or in severe jaundice in infancy. Damage to the brain up to the age of two can also cause the development of cerebral palsy.
The treatment of cerebral palsy varies according to the type of symptoms the person has. Treatment almost always involves a multidisciplinary team including a primary care doctor, a social worker, a dentist, a physical therapist, speech therapists, occupational therapists, caregivers and other specialists, such as a neurologist or physiatrist.
The treatment attempts to make sure the person has the best symptom complex and there is prevention of complications such as nutritional deficits, danger in the home, exercise intolerance, bowel problems and joint injury. Children receive an intensive educational plan and are introduced to regular school as much as possible. The physical therapist and other professionals can make sure they have hearing aids, eye glasses, muscle or bone braces, wheelchairs and walking aids.
Some treatments include the use of anticonvulsants to reduce the incidence of seizures, using Botulinum toxin to release muscles from spasticity and to control drooling and muscle relaxants to ease spasticity and tremors. In some cases, surgery is necessary to control GE reflux disease, to put in feeding tubes, to release contractures of the joints and cut nerves in the spinal cord to ease pain and spasticity.
If you have experienced the pain of having a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to damages for medical malpractice. Please contact us today for more information and a free, no obligation consultation.