Spastic Cerebral Palsy at Birth

Spastic cerebral palsy is a permanent loss of muscle control caused by an injury to the brain resulting from a variety of causes, one of which is a lack of oxygen to the baby during labor and delivery.

Spastic CP is characterized by involuntary movement of the arms and legs, uncontrolled muscle spasms and can also affect the muscles controlling speech and swallowing.  Spastic CP can affect all four limbs, neck and torso (tetraplegia), both arms and both legs (quadriplegia), or only one arm or leg (monoplegia) but most commonly affects the arm and leg on one side of the body, only (hemiplegia).  Less commonly, spastic quadriplegia can affect three limbs (triplegia).

Poor coordination and balance, a complete inability to relax tightened muscles, difficulty walking, talking and eating are all common complications of spastic CP.  For those who suffer from this neurological disorder, affected joints become very stiff and hard to move.  Over time, the affected arms or legs may become extremely painful and interfere with the ability to function independently or even to sit in a comfortable position

Birth injuries, such as spastic cerebral palsy, can be the direct result of medical negligence.  It is important for medical providers to consistently monitor the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contraction rate to identify if the baby is experiencing a lack of oxygen during the entire course of labor and delivery. If a complication, such as a very low (bradycardia) or very high (tachycardia) fetal heart rate is identified in a timely manner, medical providers can respond immediately to fetal distress.  A baby’s lack of oxygen during labor and delivery is an obstetrical emergency and can result in permanent brain injury such as spastic CP.

There are a number of treatments available for the management of spastic CP. However, the cost of care for a child with cerebral palsy, or any brain damage, is very high. If your child’s brain injury was caused by a medical mistake, the experienced Birth Injury lawyers at The Yost Legal Group are here to help.

Call The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a FREE, confidential, no-obligation consultation. When you call, you will speak with a Baltimore Birth Injury attorney with real experience absolutely free. At The Yost Legal Group, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse is Linked to Hypoxic Brain Injury in Children

When a woman is pregnant, the umbilical cord is what connects the mother to the developing fetus, acting as a lifeline for the child. It allows the supply of nourishment and oxygen for necessary development. Unfortunately, one in every 300 births involves an umbilical cord prolapse (UCP). An umbilical cord prolapse occurs when part of the umbilical cord gets ahead of the baby, and comes through the cervix and into the birth canal before the baby does. This pinches the umbilical cord and causes a reduction or complete cut-off of the oxygen supply to the fetus. If untreated, umbilical cord prolapse can result in birth injuries due to lack of oxygen (hypoxia) including: cerebral palsy, developmental delays, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or even death of the child.

Signs of Umbilical Cord Prolapse Include:

  • Abnormal fetal heart rate pattern
  • Fetal heart rate drop, often sudden and sustained, to a heart rate lower than 120 bpm
  • The doctor performing a pelvic exam and finding either:
    – The umbilical cord protruding through the cervix or in the vagina ahead of the baby
    – The umbilical cord in an incorrect position

Once it is discovered that the mother and child are experiencing UCP, it is important that the correct steps are taken to ensure their safety. UCP can be corrected by a doctor or physician if the proper steps are taken. Procedures may include changing the mothers positioning to relieve pressure on the umbilical cord, using a vacuum to extract the baby quickly if she is giving birth at the time, or a C-section delivery may be vital.

Complications due to umbilical cord prolapse are the cause of preventable hypoxic brain injury in children.  Cerebral palsy is one of the injuries which can occur due to untreated umbilical cord prolapse.  Cerebral palsy cannot be cured but treatment will very often improve a child’s capabilities and, in general, the earlier treatment begins the better chances are that children will overcome developmental disabilities.

Our experienced attorneys fight for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others.  If you would like to discuss your child’s potential claim arising from HIE or CP, the Birth Injury Attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination.  For a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-YOSTLAW.