Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers
Our Baltimore Lawyers Represent Families Whose Children Have Cerebral Palsy
Recovering damages for birth defects caused by hospital negligence in Maryland
Cerebral palsy refers to impairment of motor functions caused by damage to the brain. The term does not refer to a single medical condition, because cerebral palsy can manifest in a variety of symptoms that can affect children in very different ways. Since we opened our doors in 1987, LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. has helped families like yours whose children suffered serious injuries because of obstetrical mistakes made in Maryland’s hospitals.
Classifications of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is generally divided into the following major categories, although your child’s symptoms may overlap:
- Spastic cerebral palsy accounts for 70 to 80 percent of cerebral palsy cases. Symptoms may include spasticity, rigidity, stiffness and uncontrolled contractions. Because legs and arms are affected, children usually have difficulty walking and performing motor tasks, with the most severe form resulting in quadriplegia. They may also have seizures, learning disabilities and difficulty talking, eating and breathing.
- Athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy is characterized by fluctuations in muscle tone. Because some muscles are too tight and others are too loose, the child is not able to control movements. This type of palsy may produce movements that are slow and writhing or rapid and jerky. In addition, speech and eating may be affected.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common form of palsy, which typically affects coordination, balance and fine motor skills. A child with ataxia may walk with an unsteady gait and have trouble with tasks that require precision, such as writing.
The palsy may be further classified by severity and topographical distribution based on which limbs, organs and regions of the body are affected.
Causes of cerebral palsy
You may first recognize symptoms of cerebral palsy as your child approaches developmental benchmarks, such as when your baby should begin sitting upright, crawling or eating. For this reason, your child may be up to the age of 3 before an accurate diagnosis is made. Causes of a cerebral palsy birth injury include:
- Asphyxia — Brain damage may result from the baby’s lack of oxygen because of umbilical cord problems, hemorrhaging, breech birth and prolonged delivery or when mothers are below or above the optimal age, height and weight for a healthy pregnancy.
- Complications during vaginal and cesarean-section (C-section) births — Neurological injuries can occur in babies delivered by vaginal or cesarean-section births.
- Mother’s medical condition — Fetal distress may arise from high-risk pregnancies, such as when mothers have diabetes, endometriosis, autoimmune disorders or infections.
- Premature birth — Premature babies are more prone to medical complications than full-term babies.
- Traumatic brain injury during delivery — Improper use of vacuum extractors and forceps can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other birth defects.
Doctors may be able to prevent birth defects by screening mothers for risk factors and recommending a C-section when appropriate.
Learn How Doctor’s Negligence may have Contributed to your Baby’s Cerebral Palsy from the Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton
For more information about cerebral palsy recovery, call LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact our firm online to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable Baltimore birth injury lawyers. We offer flexible hours to better serve you. You can call our office 24-hours a day in case of emergency.