Cerebral Palsy Categories - Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Canada Law

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Cerebral palsy is a childhood disability that stems from having damage to the motor cells of the brain. When the motor brain cells are affected, there can be spasticity of the muscles, hypotonia or floppiness of the muscles, or abnormal movement of the extremities or face. There are several types of cerebral palsy, each of which is treated slightly differently. Treatment guidelines are basically aimed at maximizing normal motor, speech and swallowing functions.

A cerebral palsy lawyer is a specialist personal injury advocate with expertise in medical malpractice compensation claims for cerebral palsy victims and their families. Most cases of cerebral palsy are not as a result of errors caused by healthcare professionals and it is a cerebral palsy lawyer’s job to distinguish between those cases that occur naturally and the 10% of cases that are the result of clinical negligence. Our cerebral palsy lawyers offer a wealth of experience and give free advice with no further obligation on liability and the potential value of a claim. Payment for services is based on a contingency fee basis which means that we get paid when you get paid. If the case is lost there is nothing whatsoever to pay. There are time limits in all personal injury compensation claims and failure to take legal action within the limitation period can mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. If you have the slightest suspicion that your child’s condition has been caused by medical malpractice you should take legal advice from a cerebral palsy compensation claim lawyer as soon as your child’s diagnosis is confirmed by a doctor.

The most common type of cerebral palsy diagnosed is spastic cerebral palsy. Spasticity implies rigid and jerky muscles with difficulty in moving the extremities. There are several types of spastic cerebral palsy, which accounts for 70-80 cases of cerebral palsy.

Spastic diplegia involves two limbs affected, usually the lower extremities. The hip muscles are tight and the leg muscles are stiff so the child walks with a “scissors” gait. They often need a wheelchair or walker to get around. Spastic hemiplegia involves only one side of the body. It can involve more problems with the upper extremities than with the lower extremities. The child may need a leg brace and/or an arm brace to maximize function. Another type of cerebral palsy is called spastic quadriplegia. This is the most severe type of spastic cerebral palsy and involves spasticity of all the extremities. Mental retardation is most associated with this type of cerebral palsy so that there are more worries to think about than just extremity spasticity, which involves all four extremities. Walking and talking are often difficult and seizures are not uncommon.

Athetoid dyskinetic cerebral palsy only affects about 10 percent of cerebral palsy patients. The child usually has a normal intelligence but has alterations in muscle tone (weak or spastic) and has abnormal movement of the extremities called athetosis. Sitting, walking and speaking clearly can be a problem and there are often troubles with drooling due to facial grimaces. The face can move around with grimaces or can be stuck in one grimaced position.

Ataxic cerebral palsy affects about 5-10 percent of cerebral palsy patients. The problem is mostly with balance and with movement of the upper extremities. Fine movements like buttoning a shirt, using scissors and other motor tasks can be difficult to accomplish. There may be a wide based gait due to an inability to maintain one’s balance. Intention tremors are possible, which are tremors that only show up when the child “intends” or tries to do a movement. The fingers and hand can jerk around when the child tries to make the hands to something. Reaching for things can be especially difficult because the closer the child gets to the item, the harder it is to control the tremor.

Hypotonic cerebral palsy involves a diminished motor control. The head can be floppy and he or she won’t be able to control the trunk or head when trying to sit up. All the large and small motor skills will likely be delayed and the reflexes can be hypotonic (less) or hypertonic (greater). This type of cerebral palsy is believed to be due to intrauterine insults rather than birth trauma but it certainly can be related to birth trauma. Only 5-10 percent of children have this type of cerebral palsy.

Mixed cerebral palsy is a catch all term that identifies those children who have features of more than one type of cerebral palsy. He or she may have spasticity with athetoid movements typical of athetoid cerebral palsy and spastic cerebral palsy. Some extremities may be spastic while other extremities are weak or show abnormal movements.

Cerebral palsy of all types occurs in utero, because of a birth injury or because of an insult to the oxygenation after birth. Even so, cerebral palsy is considered congenital, because it occurs around the time of birth, even though the symptoms do not often show up until 1-3 years o

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