Birth injuries include Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy, Athetoid dyskinetic cerebral palsy, spastic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and other conditions.
The condition known as Cerebral Palsy actually refers to a number of conditions caused by brain damage that can occur before, during, or after birth. Symptoms of cerebral palsy can appear early in life, but they may not be noticed until early childhood, or even in early teens.
There are numerous types of cerebral palsy, classified as such based on the area of the brain that is damaged. The following are common types of this condition:
- Spastic cerebral palsy: This is most common form of cerebral palsy, affecting 70 to 80 percent of patients, and it occurs in the cerebral cortex. Where pairs of muscles normally work in concert, alternately tensing and relaxing to allow normal movement, the muscles of those afflicted with spastic cerebral palsy tense in unison, causing abnormal movements. Spastic cerebral palsy sufferers often experience a lifetime of difficulties due to lack of control in movement.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy: Affecting approximately 25 percent of cerebral palsy patients, this form, also known as dyskenetic cerebral palsy, is caused by damage to the basal ganglia. Symptoms include slow, writhing movements of the hands, feet, arms, or legs, but it can also affect the muscles of the face and tongue. Athetoid cerebral palsy afflictions can have a dramatic effect on many lives.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy: This form is caused by damage to the cerebellum, and it affects approximately 5 to 10 percent of people with cerebral palsy. Ataxic cerebral palsy affects movement coordination, and tends to affect balance, causing sufferers to walk or stand with legs wide apart and appear unsteady and shaky. Ataxic cerebral palsy victims experience many difficulties throughout life and compensation costs can improve the quality of life for those afflicted with these problems.
Although the basic cause of any form of cerebral palsy is brain damage, the causes of the brain damage are varied. In many cases, damage can occur due to a condition occurring during pregnancy or due to errors made during delivery. All too often, the condition could have been prevented through proper medical diagnostics and procedures. This is why it is critical to hire a cerebral palsy attorney who retains the best medical specialists to help investigate and if necessary, prove these cases in court.
Some examples of causes that result in medical malpractices cases are:
- Inadequate medical monitoring of uterine pressure during labor
- Failure to anticipate and prepare for premature delivery (before 37 weeks)
- Failure to consider a disproportion in the size of the pelvis of the mother (known as cephalopelvic disproportion) which can result in a shoulder dystocia
- Prolonged and difficult labor that does not receive proper attention and care
- Improper use of forceps and vacuum extraction devices
- Failure to respond appropriately to blood loss
- Inappropriate use of pitocin, a drug often used to induce labor or speed it up
- failure to perform a cesarean section
- negligent monitoring of the heart beat of the mother or child
- improper maintenance of oxygen level
If you or a relative has been injured or died as a result of a birth injury resulting from a medical malpractice, you may be entitled to just compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, medical costs, lost income and future earnings.