The American Pregnancy Association claims that 2-3 out of 1,000 children born in the United States have cerebral palsy. In addition to being fairly common in our population, cerebral palsy can be a serious health problem. In some cases, there is nothing that a doctor can do to prevent cerebral palsy. However, in other cases, cerebral palsy can be a birth injury caused by negligence, and a doctor can be held responsible for the injuries.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
It is believed that cerebral palsy occurs when an infant receives a lack of oxygen during childbirth. Oxygen deprivation is preventable in some cases, meaning that if you have a child with cerebral palsy, your doctor may have been able to prevent it. To learn more about cerebral palsy and your doctor’s culpability, read on.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that can refer to many different neurological disorders that affect the body’s muscle coordination and movement. The range of disability can be great when talking about cerebral palsy. For example, a mild case of cerebral palsy would present itself with minor speech and movement impediments. In a severe case, the person will be unable to talk, walk, or perform basic tasks such as feeding him or herself and writing.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
This is a relatively rare form of cerebral palsy, making up 10% of all cerebral palsy cases. Symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy include:
- Slurred speech
- Posture issues
- Muscle tone issues
- Involuntary movements
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Another fairly uncommon form of cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy accounts for 10% of all cases. Symptoms include:
- Balance issues
- Depth perception issues
- Muscle movement coordination issues
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
The final and most common form of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy. It’s symptoms include:
- Movement difficulty
- Muscle reflex issues
Did My Doctor Commit Medical Malpractice?
Sometimes, it can be hard to determine if your child’s disability is the result of medical negligence. If you aren’t sure if your doctor committed medical malpractice, consider the following questions:
- Was a cesarean section delayed by the doctor?
- Did the doctor make mistakes when using medical instruments and equipment?
- Was there a prolapsed umbilical cord that the doctor failed to notice?
- Did infections go unnoticed in the mother of the child throughout pregnancy?
- Did the doctor fail to monitor the child’s heart rate during the delivery process?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a claim to a medical malpractice case.
While each medical malpractice case is different, there are certain signs that personal injury lawyers are able to spot due to their experience in the field. If you are still unsure if you have a personal injury claim or not, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer.