Toddlers, children, and adults with dystonic cerebral palsy face involuntary muscle movements and difficulty with coordination. Depending on the severity of their condition, they may require lifelong support in addition to ongoing medical monitoring and care. In many cases, the brain injuries that lead to dystonic cerebral palsy are preventable.
If you believe a doctor acted negligently, made a medical error, or committed medical neglect in their care of your child, you may be able to pursue damages to help pay for your baby’s care costs. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to connect with a medical malpractice attorney in your case. You can reach us at 1-800-222-9529 today.
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
Doctors have a duty to provide a certain standard of care to their patients, and failure to do so is a form of medical negligence. If your doctor did not adequately monitor you and your baby during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, or if they caused your child to suffer a preventable birth injury in another way, you may have a viable medical malpractice case against them.
Your medical malpractice birth injury attorney can identify the liable parties and explain the deadlines you must meet based on the facts of your case. They can also enlist the help of a medical expert witness who can testify to the acceptable standard of care and how your doctor’s negligence caused or contributed to your child’s dystonic cerebral palsy. This testimony is often key in these cases.
In a successful dystonic cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuit, your family can recover damages that may include:
- Medical care costs related to your child’s diagnosis
- Ongoing therapy costs
- Prescription medications
- Other prescribed care
- Mobility and communication aids, as necessary
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the birth injury or dystonic cerebral palsy
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Types
While dystonic cerebral palsy is a type of dyskinetic cerebral palsy, the involuntary and uncontrolled muscle movements in this type generally only occur during attempts to make certain voluntary movements. In addition, there are fewer types of uncontrolled movements in dystonic cerebral palsy than in other types of dyskinetic cerebral palsy.
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Causes
Dystonic cerebral palsy occurs because of lesions in the brain’s center for movement and coordination, the basal ganglia. These lesions can occur before, during, or immediately following the delivery. They are the result of a brain injury. This injury could be from:
- A neonatal stroke
- A head injury, often a skull fracture
- A condition that limits the amount of blood and oxygen reaching the brain
- A maternal infection
- Untreated jaundice
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
In Dystonic cerebral palsy, the person suffers from muscle contractions when trying to move. Known as dystonia, these muscle contractions are twisting, repetitive movements. They can be painful in some cases. They may affect only one part of the body and only occur when trying to make certain voluntary movements.
While most people with dystonic cerebral palsy have increased muscle tone and fewer involuntary movements than others with another type of dyskinetic cerebral palsy, dystonia can affect the entire body, including the throat and vocal cords.
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment
Like other types of cerebral palsy, doctors usually diagnose dystonic cerebral palsy based on observation and clinical examination. They may use MRI, CT, or ultrasound to locate the damage to the brain and confirm their diagnosis.
Treatment for dystonic cerebral palsy often includes oral baclofen, a drug that can help control involuntary movements. Physical therapy, other medications, and additional support may be necessary depending on the child’s specific symptoms.
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has Dystonic Cerebral Palsy?
Most parents bring their concerns to their child’s pediatrician after they fail to meet motor-related milestones during the first 12 to 18 months of life. This may include developmental delays in sitting up, crawling, walking, and talking. Parents may also observe abnormal movements or complications, such as seizures.
Can Dystonic Cerebral Palsy be fatal?
In most cases, dystonic cerebral palsy is not fatal. However, some people may experience a rapid increase in severe dystonia called “Periodic Status Dystonicus.” This condition can be life-threatening without treatment. Still, many children thrive despite their dystonic cerebral palsy diagnosis. This type of cerebral palsy generally responds well to medication.
Who is liable for Dystonic Cerebral Palsy?
Depending on the facts of your case, the doctor liable for your child’s dystonic cerebral palsy may be the obstetrician who monitored your pregnancy, another doctor who delivered your child, or another medical practitioner. In some cases, the hospital may also be liable if they allowed negligent behavior.
What is the statute of limitations for Dystonic Cerebral Palsy?
The statute of limitations that applies in your cerebral palsy birth injury case depends on the laws in the state where you live. An attorney practicing in your state can help you understand the deadlines and other applicable laws. Some states have not only a statute of limitations, but also tolling for minors and a statute of repose.
Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Glossary Terms
- What Is Baclofen?: Baclofen is a prescription drug. It is a muscle relaxer used to treat painful muscle spasms and other unwanted and involuntary movements.
- What Is dystonia?: Dystonia is a type of twisting and repeating movement characteristic of dystonic cerebral palsy. It can be painful in some cases.
- What Is Periodic Status Dystonicus?: Periodic Status Dystonicus is a rare and rapid increase in severe dystonic movements.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney About Your Child’s Dystonic Cerebral Palsy Case
If your child suffered a brain injury before, during, or after birth and now has dystonic cerebral palsy as a result, you may be eligible to pursue damages in a medical malpractice case. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at 1-800-222-9529. You can reach an attorney who practices birth injury law in your state and offers no-cost case reviews.