Spastic Cerebral Palsy Lawyers in Charlotte

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of cerebral palsy in the United States. Spastic cerebral palsy will often show signs of tightness of muscles in different areas of a child’s body. Generally, these children have difficulty, or a complete inability, to relax these muscles. These children will have difficulty in maintaining control of their movements and likely will have poor balance and coordination. Basic day-to-day activities, such as talking and eating, are often straining tasks. This form of cerebral palsy can manifest in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Monoplegia – one limb is affected
  • Diplegia – both legs are affected
  • Hemiplegia – all of the muscles on one side of the body are affected
  • Triplegia – three limbs are affected (one arm and both legs, or both arms and one leg)
  • Quadriplegia – all limbs are affected. Generally, the esophagus, tongue and mouth muscles are also affected
The Severity of Spastic Cerebral Palsy Varies

Spastic cerebral palsy varies in its severity. Some children with spastic cerebral palsy are able to walk while others need to use a wheelchair. Your child’s doctor will evaluate the level of spasticity to help you determine the proper treatment plan for your child’s needs.

Causes of Spastic Cerebral Palsy

The main cause of any form of cerebral palsy is an injury to the area of the brain known as the motor cortex, which is involved in the planning, controlling, and execution of voluntary movements. Typically, injuries that cause cerebral palsy happen either before, during, or shortly after a child’s birth. In some cases, a child’s brain has a congenital difference that results in cerebral palsy. In most cases, however, an injury to the brain or a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process leads to cerebral palsy.

Elevated Bilirubin Levels

Elevated bilirubin levels following a birth injury can cause cerebral palsy. Anytime an injury causes internal bleeding, the body will produce bilirubin to aid in the healing process. Newborns are not able to get rid of excess bilirubin. When bilirubin builds up in the brain, it can cause swelling that may eventually result in additional brain damage.

Serious Head Trauma

Blunt force trauma to the head can cause brain injuries that result in cerebral palsy. When someone hits a child on the head or drops the child within a short time after the birth, the child is at a high risk of developing cerebral palsy. Anytime the brain begins to bleed, the blood can cause white matter damage as well as a lack of oxygen flow that can impair the motor function of the brain and cause cerebral palsy.

Misuse of a Vacuum or Forceps During Birth

Doctors sometimes need to use vacuums and forceps during a difficult delivery. However, doctors need to carefully consider the risks of using these medical devices before deciding to do so. In some cases, a cesarean section is less risky than using forceps or vacuums. Typically, c-sections do not cause trauma to the child’s head in the same way that forceps and vacuums do during birth.

When doctors negligently use forceps or vacuums and damage a baby’s brain, the parents may have a right to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Sometimes, negligence in using vacuums and forceps can be mild, while in other cases, the trauma becomes so severe that the child will need around-the-clock care due to the resulting brain damage.

Brain Infections

Babies are more prone to infection immediately following birth because their immune response has not had time to adapt or develop. Meningitis and Encephalitis are two common infections that babies can contract that result in brain damage when not treated quickly or detected early enough. Doctors have a duty to diagnose these conditions quickly and treat them effectively. When doctors do not provide adequate treatment, the child may have a valid claim to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Brain Hemorrhaging

Brain hemorrhages, or brain bleeds, are injuries that babies sustain before, during, or shortly after birth. Sometimes, brain bleeds happen while the mother is pregnant with the child. When the blood in the brain does not have anywhere to go, it can build up in the brain and cause swelling that subsequently causes damage to the brain. Anytime blood damages brain tissue, cerebral palsy can result.

Contact Our Charlotte Cerebral Palsy Lawyers

If your child received a diagnosis of spastic cerebral palsy that either was, or likely was, caused by medical malpractice, our Charlotte personal injury law firm of Arnold & Smith PLLC can help. Contact our legal team today to schedule a case evaluation. Call our office at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.

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