Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that covers a variety of physical disorders affecting movement and posture. “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” refers to a lack of muscle control, so cerebral palsy (CP) affects a person’s ability to move. It is a permanent condition that typically results from damage to the brain as it develops during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Therefore, when a child is born with cerebral palsy, it is important to review when the child may have suffered trauma and if medical errors contributed to the condition.
A few common medical errors that can lead to cerebral palsy include:
- Failure to notice fetal distress
- Improper response to unstable vital signs
- Failure to recognize infant seizures
- Failure to order and perform a C-Section during a complicated delivery
- Excessive use of a vacuum extractor to pull the baby out
- Improper use of forceps during delivery
- Failure to diagnose a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Delayed delivery
- Failure to diagnose and treat meningitis or jaundice
- Failure to recognize hypertension
When these types of mistakes are made, the baby may suffer the type of brain trauma that leads to a variety of permanent impairments. Some individuals with cerebral palsy have impaired body movement, muscle control, muscle tone, coordination, reflex, balance, and posture. Others experience learning, hearing, speech, visual, and intellectual impairments.
In fact, there are four types of cerebral palsy:
- Ataxic cerebral palsy: This is the least common form of cerebral palsy. Ataxia means incoordination, so it can cause instability, imprecision, and clumsiness.
- Athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy: ADCP can cause an inability to control muscle tone.
- Spastic cerebral palsy: This is the most common form of cerebral palsy. Individuals with spastic CP may have very stiff and tight muscle groups and neuromuscular mobility impairment.
- Mixed forms of cerebral palsy: In some cases, individuals with CP have a combination of spastic and athetoid.
If your child has CP, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a Boston birth injury attorney. It may be possible to pursue financial compensation for your child’s medical bills, suffering, and other related damages.