Errors made in the delivery room can have a devastating effect on newborns and their families. In some unfortunate instances, these errors cause birth injuries that result in cerebral palsy.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your child’s damages. Experienced attorney Stephen Brzezinski is committed seeking the justice your family deserves. He also hopes to work doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to not only ensure that you are compensated for your losses, but that the tragic errors that led to your child's injury do not happen again to others
Call 1-855-SRB-1817(1-855-772-1817) now to schedule a complimentary consultation. We welcome clients on all of the Hawaiian Islands.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a blanket term that refers to a specific variety of neurological disorders that disrupt the functions of the brain and nervous system. It results from a brain injury that occurred before, during, or shortly after birth. Considered a motor disorder, this condition is characterized by unusual or involuntary movements. Additionally, individuals with CP have issues such as cognitive impairment, epilepsy, and problems with vision, hearing, and more. Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
The term cerebral palsy describes a number of disorders that impact an individual’s motion, balance, and posture. The four main types of CP include:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by lesions in the upper motor neurons of the central nervous system. This leads to extreme muscle tension (hypertonia) that can cause spasms, muscle contractions, pain, and stress. Side effects of spastic cerebral palsy can include hip dislocation, scoliosis, joint deformities, and more.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: The least common type of CP, ataxic cerebral palsy results from damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that manages muscular activity. Ataxic cerebral palsy affects fine motor skills such as writing, as well as coordination and balance, especially while walking.
- Athetoid/Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (ADCP): Often caused by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), this type of CP occurs when the part of the brain that regulates voluntary movements (basal ganglia) is damaged. Individuals with ADCP struggle to walk, grasp objects, sit upright, and perform fine motor tasks, such as talking or swallowing.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Not all cases of CP fit within a single subtype. Mixed cerebral palsy refers to conditions in which a combination of symptoms are involved.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Just as there are multiple types of cerebral palsy, there are also a number of ways in which cerebral palsy can be caused. Some causes of CP include:
- Genetics: The inheritance of genes from a baby’s parents have been found to contribute to CP in certain cases.
- Asphyxia or oxygen deprivation: This can be caused by placental abruption, shoulder dystocia, umbilical cord prolapse, and more.
- Infection: Examples include bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases, toxoplasmosis, and measles.
- Complications during delivery: These can include prolonged deliveries, emergency Cesarean sections, premature membrane rupture, breech presentations, and more.
- Premature delivery: Babies born before 37 weeks are at higher risk for CP.
- Multiple births: The risk for CP is higher in the presence of multiple fetuses for a number of reasons. Multiple babies are at higher risk for premature delivery, abnormal delivery positions, prolapsed umbilical cords, and more.
- Traumatic brain injury: The use of forceps or a vacuum extractor can lead to severe trauma to a baby’s skull and brain.
- Maternal health conditions: A mother’s age, health, weight, and other factors can put a baby at higher risk for CP.
- Blood type incompatibility: Problems can arise when mothers and their babies have different blood types or Rh factors. Transfers of blood between the mother and baby can occur during the delivery process.
Since a number of possible factors can contribute to a CP diagnosis, it is important to seek the assistance of a cerebral palsy attorney to fully investigate the true cause of your child’s condition.
Symptoms of CP
Individuals with cerebral palsy can exhibit a variety of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty with fine motor skills, such as picking up utensils or buttoning clothes
- Learning difficulties
- Difficulty speaking or delays in speech development
- Difficulty with eating or sucking
- Problems swallowing or excessive drooling
- Difficulty walking
- Favoring one side of the body
- Delays reaching developmental milestones, such as crawling, sitting up, or pushing up on arms
- Slow, writhing motions
- Involuntary movements or tremors
- Lack of muscle coordination or balance
- Muscle tone variations, such as being too stiff or too floppy
Did Negligence Cause My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a birth injury, you may be facing a lifetime of expensive medical treatments and permanent care for your child. While no monetary award can make up for a diminished quality of life, damages in a medical malpractice claim can provide compensation for medical costs, caretaking expenses, pain and suffering, disability and more.
Mr. Brzezinski will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the true cause of your child’s condition. While any injury caused by someone’s negligence is unfortunate, preventable birth injuries are particularly painful for parents and families. Examples of negligent actions in the delivery room include:
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum suction during delivery
- Delayed C-section
- Failure to diagnose or treat infections in the mother
- Oxygen deprivation (Asphyxia)
Call SRB Hawaii Law to Discuss Your Cerebral Palsy Case for Free
If your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was the result of negligence, it’s important to act quickly. Contact SRB Hawaii Law today online or at 1-855-SRB-1817(1-855-772-1817) to schedule a complimentary consultation with experienced cerebral palsy lawyer Stephen Brzezinski. We serve clients on all of the Hawaiian islands.