What Is Cerebral Palsy? 

As previously mentioned, cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders that permanently affect muscle tone, coordination, balance, posture, and movement. It is irreversible, but it is not degenerative, meaning it does not worsen over time. 

There are several different types of CP. These include: 

  • Spastic CP: Spastic CP presents with a stiffness of the muscles, resulting in jerky movements in the arms and legs. Different types of spastic CP can also have varying effects, such as difficulty speaking, immobility, and curvature of the spine. 
  • Dyskinetic CP: Dyskinetic CP involves slow, writhing movements, typically of the hands, arms, legs, and/or feet. In some cases, dyskinetic CP may also involve abnormal facial muscle functioning, resulting in grimacing or drooling, among other complications.
  • Ataxic CP: Ataxic CP generally affects balance, coordination, and depth perception. People with this type of CP may have difficulties with fine motor skills, including writing. They may also have difficulties controlling voluntary movements. 
  • Mixed CP: Mixed CP occurs when an individual presents symptoms and effects of multiple types of CP, or when their symptoms do not perfectly line up with one of the aforementioned types. For example, some muscles may be rigid, while others may be loose and “floppy.” 

The type and severity of CP significantly affects the individual’s overall outlook. Some people with milder forms of CP may lead relatively normal lives and only require assistance for certain tasks. Others with more severe cases may require extensive, around-the-clock care. 

Cerebral palsy has been associated with numerous secondary conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Intellectual disabilities and cognitive impairment
  • Learning disorders 
  • Delayed development in children 
  • Seizures 
  • Hearing problems
  • Difficulty speaking 
  • Spinal deformities 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Impaired vision and blindness
  • Drooling 
  • Malnutrition and oral hygiene problems
  • Incontinence 
  • Contractures 
  • Infections 
  • Chronic illnesses 

Not everyone with cerebral palsy will experience these complications. Each individual is unique, and the exact effect of CP on a specific child will vary from one to the next.

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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Just as there are multiple types of CP, there are many symptoms of this condition. Most often, the condition appears in newborns and children, and it is typically diagnosed in childhood. 

Some of the earliest signs of cerebral palsy include: 

  • Stiffness 
  • Floppiness 
  • Legs that become stiff when the baby is picked up
  • A head that falls back or lags when the baby is picked up 

As a child ages, you may begin to notice other signs of CP, such as: 

  • Missing developmental milestones
  • Inability to roll over 
  • Keeping one hand in a fist while reaching with the other
  • Difficulty using the hands, arms, legs, or feet 
  • Lopsided crawling 
  • Inability to stand with support 
  • Poor muscle coordination with voluntary movements
  • Exaggerated reflexes 
  • Stiff, rigid, or tight seeming muscles
  • Crisscrossing the legs while walking (scissored gait)
  • Tiptoeing 
  • Weakness in one or more arms or legs
  • Involuntary movements 
  • Shaking and tremors 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Varied muscle tone, such as being too floppy or too stiff
  • Difficulties with activities involving fine motor skills, such as writing 

If you notice any of these or other signs of CP in your child, seek medical attention. Then, contact the Albuquerque cerebral palsy lawyers at Curtis & Co. to learn whether you have a case against a negligent medical provider. Many cases of CP are the result of birth injuries and other forms of malpractice. Our attorneys can review your claim and determine whether you have a case. 

Is Cerebral Palsy Always Caused by Medical Malpractice? 

Although many cases of CP are the result of birth injuries and other forms of medical malpractice, many are not. At Curtis & Co., we only accept valid cases that we truly believe we can win. If we investigate your claim and do not find evidence of medical malpractice, we will let you know honestly. We will also explain what may have happened, even if a doctor will not. 

Your child’s cerebral palsy may be the result of medical malpractice if a doctor, nurse, midwife, obstetrician, hospital, or another medical provider failed to uphold the accepted standard of care. This means that they did something another qualified provider would not have done or failed to do something another qualified provider would have done in the same or similar circumstances. 

For example, if labor was prolonged but the doctor failed to order a timely C-section, resulting in the baby suffering oxygen deprivation and brain damage leading to CP, you could have a case. Additionally, if a nurse failed to properly notice and respond to signs of fetal distress during delivery, resulting in the baby suffering brain damage, you may also have a claim. 

We encourage you to reach out to our team as soon as possible to discuss your potential case. You have a limited amount of time to file a birth injury claim involving cerebral palsy in the state of New Mexico. The sooner you get in touch with us, the better.

Call our office at (505) 871-3740 or schedule a consultation online using our secure contact form.

Curtis & Co. Curtis & Co.
You are passionate, persistent, and from everything that I saw today, a brilliant lawyer and orator.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • 25 Years of Experience
    Founding Attorney Lisa K. Curtis has pursued law since the young age of 6. This is all we've ever wanted to do, and we've done it well for decades.
  • Treating Clients Like Family
    We're a smaller firm so we can give our clients the focus and attention they deserve. You've been wronged, and we stop at nothing to make it right.
  • Compassionate, Capable Advocates
    We know how difficult it is not only to experience the injustice you did, but to be brave enough to move forward. We're here with you every single step of the way.
  • Committed to the Well-Being of New Mexico
    New Mexico is and always has been our home and chief priority. Our families go back centuries here, and we look to better this community with every move we make.

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