Wisconsin Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
representing victims of medical malpractice
Working with us on Cerebral Palsy Cases
A diagnosis of cerebral palsy in a newborn is devastating for a parent after a difficult birth. Most parents are immediately concerned about what the future holds for their child, and how they will be able to afford to meet the child’s special needs through childhood and into adulthood.
CEREBRAL PALSY STATISTICS
- One in every 303 children has some type of cerebral palsy
- 764,000 people in the United States have cerebral palsy
- each year about 10,000 babies born in the United States will develop cerebral palsy
- It costs 5 times more to raise a child with cerebral palsy to age 18 than it costs to raise the average child
Medical Malpractice Causing Cerebral Palsy Injuries
Cerebral palsy cannot be diagnosed immediately after birth—most pediatricians agree that it takes until about age two or three before a physician can determine whether a child has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy has many causes, including medical negligence.
- Failure to order a timely cesarean section, causing lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor during birth
- Failure to treat infection
- Failure to treat meningitis
- Failure to treat jaundice
- Failure to discover a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Poor head control
- Poor sucking or feeding
- Motor development delays
- Limpness or stiffness in the joints
Types of Cerebral Palsy
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy. The most common type of CP is spastic CP. Spastic CP affects about 80% of people with CP. People with spastic CP have increased muscle tone. This means their muscles are stiff and, as a result, their movements can be awkward. Spastic CP usually is described by what parts of the body are affected:
- Spastic diplegia/diparesis―In this type of CP, muscle stiffness is mainly in the legs, with the arms less affected or not affected at all.
- Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis―This type of CP affects only one side of a person’s body; usually the arm is more affected than the leg.
- Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis―Spastic quadriplegia is the most severe form of spastic CP and affects all four limbs, the trunk, and the face. People with spastic quadriparesis usually cannot walk and often have other developmental disabilities such as intellectual disability; seizures; or problems with vision, hearing, or speech.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. People with the dyskinetic form of cerebral palsy have variable involuntary movement that can be twisting and repetitive (known as dystonia) or slow and writing (known as athetosis).
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy. Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common type of cerebral palsy. People with ataxia have unsteady, shaky movements or tremors. They also have trouble keeping their balance.
Some people have mixed cerebral palsy, meaning they have a combination of two or more types of CP.
Treating Cerebral Palsy
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, children with cerebral palsy may benefit from physical, occupational and speech therapy, medications, and sometimes surgery to loosen up the limbs and prevent worsening contractures.