Although 1 in 278 people suffer from cerebral palsy, very few people expect to have a member of their family be born with cerebral palsy or that a family member will develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a general term that describes a variety of associated neurological disorders that reflect physical and sensory disabilities as well as psychological limitations. Because Cerebral Palsy often appears in early childhood or infancy, and because cerebral palsy is generally considered to be caused by brain trauma during pregnancy, birth, and the processes that immediately succeed child delivery, some instances of cerebral palsy are definitively birth injuries. If you believe that your child developed cerebral palsy from an avoidable birth injury, contact an experienced birth injury lawyer in Washington, DC today.
What is Cerebral Palsy and How Will it Affect my Child?
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition, and it occurs on a spectrum so there is no way to generalize its effects, however if your child is born with cerebral palsy, their condition likely falls under one of the following categories:
- Athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy
Roughly 10% of all people who suffer from cerebral palsy experience athetoid or dyskinetic symptoms. These include difficulty swallowing, involuntary bodily movements, an inability to maintain proper posture, low muscle tone, and slurred speech.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy
Like athetoid and dyskinetic cerebral palsy, roughly 10% of people suffer from ataxic cerebral palsy. People who experience ataxic symptoms suffer from ineffective depth perception, difficulties with coordinated muscle activity, distorted balance, and tremors.
- Spastic cerebral palsy
Most individuals who suffer from cerebral palsy unfortunately experience spastic symptoms. About 80% of all people diagnosed with cerebral palsy have spastic cerebral palsy. If your child has spastic cerebral palsy, they may experience impeding difficulties when trying to transition between movements or activities, and when trying to hold onto objects.
What is the Connection Between Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy?
Because many children first show signs of cerebral palsy while they’re still infants, and because cerebral palsy occurs from injuries that result from neurological trauma before, during, and immediately after birth. Cerebral palsy is caused by many factors, but a few can be directly linked to birth injury. These include:
- Failure to order a timely cesarean section, depriving the baby of oxygen and damaging its brain
- Failure to treat a detrimental infection
- Failure to treat or ignoring signs of meningitis
- Failure to treat jaundice
- Failure to discover prolapsed umbilical cord
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor during birth
These and other medical malpractices can cause your child and your family to endure lifelong suffering. That’s why you should contact an experienced birth injury lawyer in the Washington, DC area or wherever you live. The lawyers at Cohen & Cohen P.C. are some of the most effective personal injury litigators in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The lawyers at Cohen & Cohen are A.V. rated experts who can help you seek the justice you deserve for the unfortunate cerebral palsy birth injury that your loved one recently experienced.