Cerebral palsy is a disorder that is caused by damage to a developing brain and interferes with the nervous system and movement. Cerebral palsy can happen before birth, during birth, within the first month following birth or during the first few years of a child’s life while the brain is still developing. However, 85-90% of cerebral palsy occurs before or during birth. Cerebral palsy does not affect every child the same way because the condition depends on what part of the brain was affected.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are four main types of Cerebral Palsy, depending on which part of the brain is affected.
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy – the most common type of Cerebral Palsy and results in stiff and jerky muscle movements. Spastic Cerebral Palsy affects the motor cortex of the brain. According to the CDC, 75%-85% of children with Cerebral Palsy have Spastic Cerebral Palsy.
- Dyskinetic/Athetoid Cerebral Palsy – involves involuntary, uncontrollable muscle movements and is caused by damage to either the Basal Ganglia (the part of the brain responsible for voluntary movement in the cerebral cortex) or the Cerebellum (the area responsible for coordination and precision movements).
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – the least common type of Cerebral Palsy and involves problems with balance and coordination. Ataxic CP is caused by damage to an area of the brain called the Cerebellum.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy – a combination of two or more of the aforementioned types of Cerebral Palsy. Mixed Cerebral Palsy affects 10% of people with CP.
Medical Negligence and Cerebral Palsy
There are many potential causes of Cerebral Palsy and medical negligence is a known cause of Cerebral Palsy. A failure to diagnose maternal conditions or fetal distress, a failure to perform a timely emergency c-section, a failure to use the proper tools to assist in the birthing process or the failure to diagnose and treat hypoxia, jaundice or infection may all cause or contribute to the development of Cerebral Palsy.
If your child has suffered a brain injury that resulted in Cerebral Palsy which you believe may be due to a health care provider’s negligence, please contact Michael P. Bonner, Esq. at [email protected] or call us at 305-676-8800 for a free consultation. Mr. Bonner is a attorney with thirty years of experience handling medical malpractice claims for both patients injured by medical malpractice and healthcare providers.