Cerebral palsy, a type of neurological disorder that causes motor disabilities, may be caused by numerous factors, including birth injuries.
Although women throughout Tennessee have babies every day, labor and delivery is a delicate process for them and their babies. As such, they often put their care in the hands of their health care providers and medical staff. However, doctor errors during women’s pregnancies, or during labor and delivery may put not only expected mothers at risk, but also their babies. As a result of birth injuries, children may develop serious medical conditions, including cerebral palsy.
What is cerebral palsy?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are numerous neurological disorders, which are generally referred to as cerebral palsy. This condition affects muscle coordination, movement, posture and muscle tone. Cerebral palsy typically manifests during infancy or in early childhood.
There are four general types of cerebral palsy – spastic, dyskinesia, ataxic and mixed. The forms of this disorder are diagnosed and classified based on the type of movement disturbances that a child experiences. Stiff muscles characterize spastic cerebral palsy, while uncontrollable movements are associated with the dyskinesia form of this condition. Children who suffer from ataxia cerebral palsy usually display poor coordination and balance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who have mixed cerebral palsy may exhibit symptoms from two or more types of the condition.
What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?
Just as every child is unique, so too is the manner in which he or she may be affected by cerebral palsy. The types of symptoms children with cerebral palsy may experience vary based on numerous factors, including the type and severity of their condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Experiencing involuntary movements or tremors
- Feeling stiff or floppy
- Favoring one side of the body
- Having trouble eating or sucking
While all children tend to develop at their own speed, there are certain milestones that they typically meet around the same ages. Therefore, delays in reaching these targets may indicate there is a more serious problem, such as cerebral palsy.
What causes cerebral palsy?
According to the CDC, cerebral palsy is caused by abnormalities in the brain’s development, or damage during brain development. This may be the result of numerous factors, including doctor errors and birth injuries. Infant and maternal infections, including meningitis, have been shown to be potential risk factors for cerebral palsy. The danger posed by these infections may be increased when they are left untreated.
Additionally, the use of certain tools, such as forceps of vacuums, during delivery may cause damage that could result in cerebral palsy. Fetal stroke, difficult deliveries and other factors that may decrease the oxygen supply to infants’ brains may also lead to cerebral palsy. Health care professionals have a responsibility to ensure that mothers, as well as their babies, are safe throughout the birthing process. Failing to do so could result in the development of cerebral palsy and may be considered medical malpractice.
Consulting with an attorney
Children in Tennessee who suffer from cerebral palsy often require lifelong medical treatment and care. As such, they often have ongoing medical expenses. When this condition develops due to doctor errors during birth, the health care professional may be held financially liable. Therefore, parents of children with cerebral palsy may find it of benefit to seek legal counsel. Working with an attorney may help them to understand whether their child’s condition may have been prevented, as well as their options for pursuing compensation.