Every expectant parent hopes for the best–a healthy child and a painless
childbirth (at least as painless as possible). In most instances, parents
get their wish: mother and child are healthy, happy, and soon ready to
go home. In a few cases, however, your child may experience complications
during the birthing process. One of the most serious problems related
to birth injuries is cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Defined
According to the
Mayo Clinic, two to four children out of every thousand born in the U.S. and Europe
have cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy may include a number of different
neurological disorders. All of these disorders hinder body movement and
muscle coordination. Children who acquire cerebral palsy usually do so
at birth and have lasting effects throughout their lives. It is considered
a “non-progressive” condition, which means that the symptoms
of cerebral palsy will manifest at the outset but will not get progressively
worse over time.
Some of the most common types of cerebral palsy include the following:
Ataxic cerebral palsy – This type of cerebral palsy is characterized
by tremors, problems with depth perception, poor balance, and challenges
coordinating muscle movements. Ataxic cerebral palsy accounts for about
ten percent of all instances of cerebral palsy.
Athetoid cerebral palsy – This type of cerebral palsy causes involuntary
movements, low muscle tone, slurred speech, and difficulty maintaining
posture. Athetoid cerebral palsy accounts for about ten percent of all
instances of cerebral palsy.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Medical research has determined that the most prevalent causes of cerebral
palsy include insufficient oxygen to the brain or body, trauma during
birth, or premature delivery. In many cases, doctors and other medical
professionals exercise the proper standard of care due to expecting mothers.
In some cases, however, cerebral palsy may be due to the error or oversight
of a medical practitioner. For example, cerebral palsy may result when
a doctor fails to:
detect a prolapsed umbilical cord;
perform a timely or necessary cesarean section;
properly use medical instruments such as forceps or vacuum;
detect and treat infections; or
monitor fetal heart rate during birth.
Getting Help When Your Child Has Been Harmed by a Doctor’s Error
If your child has contracted cerebral palsy due to a birth trauma or other
medical error, it is essential that you
contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer right away. Any delay may cause you
to lose your right to get the help you need. The Atlanta medical malpractice
attorneys at Goldstein and Hayes, P.C., have extensive experience helping
those whose children have been harmed by the negligence of medical caretakers.
We can answer your questions, assess your case, and help you hold those
responsible for your child’s injuries accountable.