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Types Of Cerebral Palsy - Medical Malpractice Lawyer - Canada

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145

Cerebral palsy looks different from child to child and there are recognized types of cerebral palsy that a person can suffer from. In a sense, cerebral palsy can be considered a broad, all encompassing term for a number of motor problems, balance problems and posture problems a child can have. About 15 million cases of cerebral palsy exist worldwide and, in North America, there are in excess of 800,000 cases alive today. Of these, approximately 150,000 cases of cerebral palsy exist in children today.

Motor Disorder & Brain Damage

Cerebral palsy is a motor disorder that affects the muscles of the body. The damage that causes cerebral palsy, however, is not in the muscles themselves but in the brain, where brain damage has caused the motor centers of the brain to die off. The die off can occur when a child is in the womb, from a birth injury or anoxia at birth or from an anoxic episode occurring after birth, usually in the first few months of life. Cerebral palsy isn't diagnosed, however, until a child reaches the age of two to three years of age in many cases.

Several Different Types

There are several different types of cerebral palsy that differ in the amount of muscle tone each child has and in the way they maintain their balance and posture. Knowing the exact type of cerebral palsy is important because healthcare professionals treat each problem slightly differently and the effect on the child varies with the exact diagnosis. Children with cerebral palsy can end up with a reduced muscle tone, an increased muscle tone or fluctuating muscle tone.

    Spastic CP

    There are four main types of cerebral palsy. The most common type is spastic cerebral palsy, which affects 70 to 80 percent of cases of cerebral palsy. The hallmark of this type of cerebral palsy is increased muscle tone in one or more muscle groups. Movement is limited because the muscles are jerky and stiff. Movement from one position to another is difficult and the limbs can be stuck in one position due to muscle stiffness. Children with this disorder have a hard time holding onto things and letting go once they have grabbed the item. Therapy of spastic cerebral palsy is geared toward loosening the muscles and helping the child learn to move from one position to another without getting stuck.

    Athetoid CP

    The second type of cerebral palsy is called athetoid cerebral palsy. When you think of the word 'athetoid', you need to think of 'slow movements'. About ten percent of patients with cerebral palsy have this type of abnormality. It is caused by damage in the parts of the brain, especially the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. The child develops involuntary movements that sway in the air without purpose. They can affect the arms, trunk and face especially and can interfere with feeding, reaching, speaking, grasping and moving in a coordinated fashion. There can be involuntary tongue thrusting and grimacing that inhibit swallowing, talking and chewing. Drooling is common. Speech can be slurred and difficult to understand. The movements are worse during times of physical or emotional stress and usually do not occur when the child is sleeping. Muscle tone is often low and it is difficult for the child to maintain his or her posture.

    Ataxic CP

    The third type of cerebral palsy is called ataxic cerebral palsy. Ataxia is a type of movement disorder. Patients with ataxic cerebral palsy are unsteady, with low muscle tone and shaky movements. Only about five to ten percent of patients with cerebral palsy have this type of the disease. Their depth perception is poor and they have poor coordination and walking abilities. They often have a wide-based gait with their feet widely spaced apart in order to have proper balance. Tremors are seen with this type of cerebral palsy and the children have problems feeding and learning how to write because of their disease.

    Mixed CP

    Mixed cerebral palsy affects five to ten percent of children. They can have spasticity along with athetoid movements and ataxia. They have injuries to the pyramidal areas of the brain along with the extra-pyramidal parts of the brain. The spasticity is what's considered more common and shows up first, followed by involuntary movements.

Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Most cases of cerebral palsy occur naturally as a birth injury and do not involve medical malpractice however a small percentage of these cases are most definitely caused by negligence on the part of healthcare professionals. If you have any reason whatsoever to suspect that your child's condition has been caused by a clinical error amounting to medical malpractice on the part of any healthcare professional, be it a doctor, midwife, nurse or technician please contact us without delay. There are time limits on claims against medical staff, hospitals and clinics and delay can preclude an award of compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers offer a free consultation without obligation to establish whether or not you have a viable case to claim compensation for your child's injuries. Please contact us without delay by completion of the contact form or you can email our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer will call you.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145