Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
Two Offices Serving New York & New Jersey

How can cerebral palsy impact a child?

When a woman in New Jersey and elsewhere finds out she is pregnant, she likely sees a doctor and makes various changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Despite the actions taken by a pregnant woman, this may not be enough to overcome improper medical advice or actions taken during pregnancy, labor or delivery. Unfortunately, medical mistakes can be made, resulting in a child suffering from a birth injury.

One type of birth injury a newborn could suffer is cerebral palsy. This is a baby's brain is damaged before, during or shortly after their birth. This results in a disorder that impacts the baby's movement and coordination. The most common causes of this birth injury is an infection in the mother during pregnancy, abnormal brain development of the baby or the lack of oxygen to the baby's brain before, during or immediately following birth, which is known as birth asphyxia.

There is heightened risk for this birth injury. It is more likely to occur when a baby is born prematurely, has a difficult birth, is a twin, triplet or a multiple or has a particularly low birth weight. However, if a healthcare professional makes an error before, during or after birth, this could result in the newborn suffering cerebral palsy as well.

How can cerebral palsy impact a child? There are three types of cerebral palsy. The first is spastic cerebral palsy, which roughly 75-88 percent of cerebral palsy suffered have. This is when a person's muscles are stiff and tight, which results in a decreased range of movement. It is also marked by muscle spasms and muscle pain. The second is dyskinetic cerebral palsy, which is experienced by around 15 percent of sufferers. This is marked by uncontrolled involuntary, sustained or intermittent muscle contractions. Finally, the third type is ataxic cerebral palsy, which impacts around four percent of sufferers and is marked by the inability to activate correct muscles during movement.

Cerebral palsy is caused by irreversible damage. However, with the proper course of treatment, it is still possible to have a good quality of life. Nonetheless, if this or any other birth injury is caused by medical negligence, it is important to take steps to understand if a medical malpractice action is right for you.

Source:, "What impact does cerebral palsy have on a child's life?" Melissa Thompson, Feb. 21, 2018

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