Parents in North Carolina should be aware of a type of injury that their baby may incur during birth or some time later. It is called ataxic cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy refers to a disorder of the cerebellum, which controls muscle movements and balance, and ataxic CP is characterized by balance issues and by a jerky or unbalanced way of walking. Children with the condition may walk with their legs spread farther apart than other children.
As with other cases of CP, ataxic CP can result in various disabilities, including speech, vision, hearing, eating and learning disabilities. Children may even be unable to reach for things due to issues with muscle coordination. Seizures are another possible symptom.
The potential causes of ataxic CP are numerous and include maternal infections, infant stroke, injuries during the delivery and genetic conditions. The condition could develop later if the infant is violently shaken. In some cases, the condition arises after a car accident. Premature babies run a higher risk of developing ataxic CP.
Cerebral palsy has no cure, but there are various treatments. Children with ataxic CP may need leg braces, a walker or a wheelchair. They will likely need medicines to address any muscle pain and stiffness. Doctors can provide physical and occupational therapy as well as special nutrition.
Some birth injuries can be the result of medical malpractice, or the failure to adhere to a generally accepted standard of medical care. Doctors may injure a baby through the forceful use of birth-assisting tools, for example. If there appears to be a case under medical malpractice law, parents may want a lawyer to evaluate it. The lawyer might hire investigators and medical experts to gather proof against the other side before attempting to negotiate for a fair settlement.