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Birth Injury FAQ's

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a permanent birth injury condition that affects body movement and muscle. There are three main types: spastic cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy, and ataxic cerebral palsy.

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What is Spastic Cerebral Palsy?

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy. "Spastic" refers to involuntary contractions of the muscles. Children diagnosed with this type of cerebral palsy have tight muscle groups which limit movement.

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What is Athetoid Cerebral Palsy?

Athetoid cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the area of the brain responsible for processing signals that enable movements. Children diagnosed with this type of cerebral palsy have low muscle tone and have problems sitting, standing, or walking.

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What is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?

This is a rare type of cerebral palsy that affects the sense of balance and depth perception. Ataxic cerebral palsy is characterized by low muscle tone and poor coordination of movements. Children diagnosed with this type of cerebral palsy appear unsteady and shaky.

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How is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?

A doctor typically diagnoses cerebral palsy before age three. Symptoms include: lack of alertness, irritability, trembling of the arms and legs, poor feeding abilities, low muscle tone, abnormal posture, abnormal reflexes, or seizures.

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What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by injury to the brain before, during or after birth. Some of the causes may be health problems of the mother, lack of oxygen, complications from birth injuries, premature delivery, and jaundice.

What are some examples where medical negligence resulted in a child being born with cerebral palsy?

  • Failure to do a C-Section or do a C-Section sooner
  • Failure to diagnose fetal distress
  • Failure to correctly interpret the fetal monitor strip
  • Failure to refer to a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies
  • Failure to have a pediatrician present during delivery when complications where expected.

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What is Brachial Plexus Injury?

Brachial Plexus injury is caused mostly during childbirth. Brachial plexus is a system of nerves controlling the shoulders, arms and hands.

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What is Erb's Palsy?

If your child can move one arm and not the other, the child might have Erb's palsy. A child with Erb's palsy will have the arm straight down at the side and will not move it. Sometimes, the arm may be slightly turned, with a bent wrist and straight fingers.

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What is the Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury?

A birth defect usually occurs prior to birth, either before or during pregnancy. Birth injuries involve harm to a baby during delivery, or something that went wrong during delivery.

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How Many Babies are Born With Birth Injuries?

Recent estimates support that five out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States will be born with birth injuries.

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If a Lawsuit is Successful, Who Will Receive the Settlement Money?

If a living child suffers harm due to an avoidable birth defect or birth injury, damages awarded as part of a successful lawsuit will typically go to the child, sometimes in the form of a trust.

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