Cerebral palsy, a common motor disability among children, may be developed as a result of birth injuries or doctor errors.
There are numerous conditions, which affect people in Reno, and throughout Nevada, during childhood. One such condition is cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this group of disorders is the most common childhood motor disability. The specific cause of cerebral palsy is unknown in many cases. However, it is believed that birth injuries, and other doctor errors, may commonly be contributing factors.
Generally, cerebral palsy affects the areas of the brain that are responsible for muscle control, according to the March of Dimes. While it typically develops or appears during childhood, it is a lifelong ailment. Cerebral palsy is often characterized by problems with balance, movement and posture.
Types of cerebral palsy
There are four general types of cerebral palsy - spastic, ataxic, dyskinetic and mixed. Each type is classified based on the type of movement disorder that is involved.
Spastic cerebral palsy typically involves stiff muscles. The dyskinetic form of cerebral palsy generally involves uncontrollable movements. People suffering from ataxic cerebral palsy usually exhibit poor coordination and balance. In general, mixed cerebral palsy involves symptoms of more than one of the other types of the condition.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy
The symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary greatly from one child to the next. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Feeling stiff or floppy
- Not being able to roll over after six months of age
- Crawling in a lopsided manner after 10 months of age
- Not crawling on all fours after 10 months of age
- Tremors or involuntary movements
The degree of disability and the type of cerebral palsy a child suffers from can impact the signs he or she displays. Each child develops at his or her own pace. However, delays in reaching certain motor milestones may serve as a warning that there is an underlying issue.
Causes of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused when the brain suffers damage during development, or develops abnormally. This can be the result of a number of factors, some of which may be due to doctor errors or birth injuries. Complicated labors and deliveries are common risk factors. Often, difficulties during birth may cause a baby's oxygen to be cut off, which can lead to the development of cerebral palsy. Additionally, the use of certain medical equipment during the birthing process, including vacuums, may cause infants to suffer brain injuries.
Certain medical conditions are also common risk factors for cerebral palsy. This includes conditions such as jaundice, meningitis and encephalitis. The likelihood of a child developing cerebral palsy may be increased when these conditions are left untreated. Furthermore, thyroid conditions, chickenpox and other medical conditions affecting women during pregnancy may also contribute to causing their babies to develop cerebral palsy. The risk tends to be greater when such conditions are not treated or controlled.
Seeking legal counsel
Children in Reno, and elsewhere, who suffer from cerebral palsy often require long-term medical care and treatment. When this condition is developed due to the actions or negligence of health care providers, those medical professionals may be held liable. It may help people whose children have developed cerebral palsy to consult with a legal professional. An attorney may help them to understand whether their medical providers could have been at fault and if their child's condition might have been prevented.
Keywords: birth, injury, cerebral palsy