A Nationwide Birth Injury Resource

Maryland Cerebral Palsy Information Center

One of the most common - and most serious - birth injuries that affects children in Maryland is cerebral palsy (CP). This muscular disorder can affect children in a wide range of ways - from their ability to move to their muscle tone or posture or even their mental development.

Cerebral palsy can impact different children in different ways. In nearly every case, CP is due to a brain injury sustained by children shortly before or during birth. CP is a lifelong medical condition that affects children for the rest of their lives. That's why it's important for you to understand all the options available to your family.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

Knowing whether your child has cerebral palsy can be difficult. Often, the best advice is to have your pediatrician or family doctor examine your child and determine if they have CP.

Common symptoms of cerebral palsy include:

  • Seizures
  • Difficult hearing
  • Poor vision
  • Slow intellectual development
  • Incontinence
  • Mental health conditions
  • Involuntary movements

You know your child best. If something seems unusual, trust your instincts. Talk to your doctor. Ask for more tests. Get a second opinion. Your child's health and well-being must always come first. Plus, when you have a doctor examine your child, you'll have an official record of what's wrong. That way, physicians can provide your child with effective treatment for symptoms often associated with cerebral palsy.

Causes of cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy occurs for many different reasons in young children. Some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy due to birth injuries include:

  • Oxygen supply cut off to infant shortly before or during delivery.
  • Untreated maternal infection during pregnancy.
  • Untreated infection in infant shortly before, during or after birth.
  • Untreated brain infection.
  • Untreated jaundice, which results in brain damage.
  • Reduced blood flow to child's brain.
  • Brain injury sustained by children shortly before, during or after birth.
  • Untreated low blood sugar levels.

This is just a small sampling of some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy. Every case and every child is different. That's why it's important to talk with your child's doctor if you believe they could be at risk of having CP.

Types of cerebral palsy

There is more than just one type of cerebral palsy. This medical issue can impact different children in different ways. Some of the most common types of cerebral palsy include:

  • Bilateral cerebral palsy - Cerebral palsy that affects both sides of the body. Within this category, common forms of bilateral cerebral palsy include:
    • Diplegia - Inability to move both legs.
    • Quadriplegia - Inability to move both arms and legs.
    • Spastic cerebral palsy - Stiffness in legs, impaired balance.
  • Unilateral cerebral palsy - Cerebral palsy that affects one side of the body. Common types of unilateral cerebral palsy include:
    • Hemiplegia - Paralysis of one side of the body.
  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy - Involuntary muscle movements. Sometimes, this affects only one part of the body (Focal Dystonia). Other times, it affects the entire body (Generalized Dystonia).
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy - Results in jerky, instable movements. Can affect any part of the body, including the arms, hands or legs.
  • Mixed cerebral palsy - Combination of different types of cerebral palsy.

Don't underestimate the complexity of cerebral palsy. Have your child examined and diagnosed and find out what's going on as soon as possible. That way, your child can receive the help and assistance they deserve as soon as possible.

What parents can do in Maryland

What many parents might not realize is many forms of cerebral palsy caused by birth injuries occur due to mistakes made by medical professionals. Sometimes, such mistakes involve medical malpractice. This means a medical professional did something wrong. Other times, such mistakes involve medical negligence. This means a medical professional failed to do something.

Either way, such legal cases can be very complicated in Maryland. That's why it's important to talk with an experienced attorney who understands Maryland's laws and who can explain all the options available to you. We can help you at Help For Your Baby. We urge you to contact us and schedule your free consultation to learn more about your rights.