Baltimore Accident Attorneys Represent Families of Birth Injury Victims
Was Your Baby Born with Cerebral Palsy Due to Birth Trauma? Our Injury Firm Can Help
According to CerebralPalsy.org, approximately 10,000 babies born each year will develop cerebral palsy (CP). An incurable muscle control disorder, CP is not always apparent at birth, even to a physician, it may become noticeable as the child grows older. Some common symptoms of CP include:
- Ataxia, or a low degree of muscle coordination in voluntary movement
- Stiff muscles
- Spasticity (exaggerated reflexes)
- Unusual gait, such as walking on toes or while crouched
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking
- Random involuntary movements or tremors
There are four different types of CP, and each affect children and adults in different ways:
- Spastic – the most common type of CP, affecting over 70 percent of all those with the condition. Individuals with spastic CP have stiff, tight muscles in some parts of the body that cannot relax.
- Athetoid – a less common form of CP affecting 10 – 20 percent of all patients. Athetoid CP causes jerky movements of the arms, legs, hands, and feet that are out of the person’s control.
- Ataxic – as many as 10 percent of all children with CP have the ataxic type, which is caused by damage to the cerebellum. Not typically diagnosed until a child is 18 months old, ataxic CP is characterized by tremors occurring while the patient performs tasks requiring precise motor control.
- Mixed – mixed CP results from damage to many parts of the brain, and those with this type exhibit symptoms of more than one of the other three – most frequently arthetoid and spastic.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is generally caused by trauma to the baby’s brain before, during, or immediately after birth. Some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Fetal stroke
- Infection (maternal or infant)
- Asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) during pregnancy or delivery
- Traumatic head injury
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about 20 percent of patients with CP sustained their brain injuries during birth. When medical professionals fail to take the appropriate precautions or miss a diagnosis that other doctors would have made, a traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy diagnosis could be the unfortunate result. If your child’s CP was caused by a medical professional’s negligence, you could be entitled to monetary damages.