Was Your Infant Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy? Consider Speaking with a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term that describes severe brain injury that often occurs during the birthing process due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen by the baby). All forms of CP can be catastrophic and come with years of continuous, expensive special treatment and therapy. In all cases, it is still incurable. Many times, cerebral palsy birth injuries are preventable but end up being the result of medical malpractice. In that case, it is best to consult a Cook County birth injury lawyer.
There are four types of CP, which are associated with the area of the brain that has been injured and the corresponding symptoms.
- Spastic CP is the most common and the result of an injury to the brains’ motor cortex. Muscle movements can be stiff, convulsive or uncontrollable. Spastic CP is known by other names associated with the area of the body affected by the injury such as diplegia, which afflicts movement in the lower half of the body, and hemiplegia, which can affect either one side of the body or the other exclusively.
- Dyskinetic CP presents in primarily two forms: athetoid cerebral palsy which is marked by involuntary, slow, writhing movements and dystonic cerebral palsy in which stomach and hip muscles are more inhibited, which affects posture and coordinated leg movements – typically the legs and abdominal muscles. Upper body muscles are seldom – or only mildly – affected.
- Ataxic CP impacts mostly voluntary muscle movements and coordination of diverse muscle systems throughout the body. But there is no set pattern as to which voluntary muscles will or will not be affected.
- Hypotonic CP patients have extremely poor muscle tone and movements, though not as spastic as other forms of CP, are uncoordinated and floppy
Spastic quadriplegia patients can be afflicted by mixed (more than one) types of CP. It is the most severe form of the disease. Most sufferers cannot move or walk because of the inflexibility of all their muscles. Body tremors are common. Speech can be quite difficult if not impossible, though all forms of CP affect speech capabilities to some degree, as well as eyesight.
Though cerebral palsy is correlated to the specific location of the brain that is injured during development and may be caused by a variety of factors the overriding majority of them occur during the child’s birth. In many instances, the mistake or negligence of a doctor, obstetrician, nurse or other medical professional is found to have caused the brain injuries resulting in CP.
A diagnosis of CP is a life sentence for your entire family. Even for mild forms of CP, the costs can skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Few family budgets can afford this, even those with excellent health insurance.
Medical Malpractice Claims for Birthing-Related CP
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is different than most other personal injury cases. For one thing, the investigation process is more intricate. By law, doctors and hospitals are required to keep precise records of all patients they treat. If they are altered, the guilty party could face felony charges and penalties. So the good news is that if negligent malpractice exists, the records will bear it out. But the trouble lies in the fact that many doctors and hospitals can make it extremely difficult to gain access to those records or can temporarily “misplace” them – or the critical ones that prove negligence – if they fear a malpractice lawsuit.
But experienced law firms such as Buttafuoco and Associates have access to respected experts in all medical fields who assist your investigation and later serve as expert witnesses when testimony is needed. So if you have consulted your own neurologist about your child’s birthing error or negligence-related CP, or if the hospital has offered you a settlement (which you should never agree to), Buttafuoco and Associates offers free consultations. Contact us by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT, emailing us or filling out an online contact form. We’ll get back to you promptly.