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.
Hundreds of children are born with cerebral palsy each year in North Carolina, inflicting them with brain damage that affects them both cognitively and physically. While cerebral palsy is not curable, it can sometimes be detected early, making its effects potentially less disabling. In some cases, cerebral palsy is caused by human error when doctors fail to make sure an infant has enough oxygen during birth. Parents who believe their child's cerebral palsy could have been prevented can contact a North Carolina attorney to learn more about their legal options.