Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized as damage to the brain's motor cortex that causes increased muscle tone, stiff joints, and jerky movements. This condition prevents normal development of motor function. It is often caused by a lack of oxygen in a child's brain during birth. Excessive uterine activity, such as too strong or too frequent contractions, affects the amount of oxygen that reaches the baby's brain. If the excessive uterine activity is prolonged, the baby can develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain damage that occurs when the baby's brain doesn't receive enough oxygen during birth. HIE is an often-preventable birth injury, and often stems from improper contraction monitoring and lack of intervention from nurses and doctors when the baby is in distress. It can have devastating, lifelong effects, such as spastic cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy can develop from HIE.
North Carolina parents are devastated when they learn that their otherwise healthy newborns suffered disabling birth injuries that often lead to cerebral palsy. The reasons for these birth injuries are myriad, but commonly include too-long labors that can lead to oxygen deficiencies when the baby gets stuck in the birth canal. Tragic results can stem from the mother's spiking a fever late in the pregnancy or during delivery due to an infection or other condition like failing to deliver within 24 hours of the breaking of the maternal waters.
North Carolina parents dealing with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy in their children might wonder about the condition. CP is considered the most common disability related to motor skills in children, caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage occurring in the developing brain of a child. Symptoms can vary widely in severity from one child to another. Some children experience intellectual disabilities in connection with CP.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 10,000 babies born every year end up with cerebral palsy. Negligent actions by doctors or nurses account for many of these cases. Even though prenatal care has improved over the years, North Carolina children who develop cerebral palsy may face a great deal of difficulty in life, such as a lifelong need for medical and personal care.
Families who receive unacceptable medical care at North Carolina military health care facilities may be able to seek compensation for malpractice. In one case, the family of a Virginia boy has received $9 million after the child developed cerebral palsy because of birth injuries. The family's lawsuit sought compensation after the child suffered catastrophic injury because of physicians' negligence. Official reports show that the family will receive $5 million as a lump sum and $4 million over the remainder of the child's natural life.