Dystonia is a neurological disorder that leads to uncontrollable muscle contractions, repetitive motions, or unusual postures. The range of muscles and severity of symptoms can vary on a case-by-case basis. Dystonia can affect people of all ages but is common in childhood.
Dystonia is sometimes caused by medical errors or negligence. If your child has been diagnosed with dystonia, you may want to examine whether medical malpractice caused or contributed to their condition.
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Symptoms of Dystonia
The symptoms of dystonia depend on the type of dystonia in question, as well as the part of the body that is affected.
Foot cramps, uncontrollable neck twitching, rapid eye blinking, and spasms are all possible symptoms of dystonia. Some people may experience symptoms when performing specific actions, and symptoms can be mild when they initially occur.
Dystonia can develop at any age, including infancy or childhood. Dystonia symptoms may change in location, intensity, and frequency over time. The triggers of these symptoms and the way they impact the patient’s life can also change.
If you believe that your child has symptoms of dystonia, bring them to a doctor to be evaluated as soon as possible.
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Treatments for Dystonia
There are no specific medications that can treat dystonia, but some treatments can help the patient cope with his or her symptoms.
- Injections of botulinum are sometimes used to help reduce twitching in the target muscles. This treatment simply blocks the release of the chemical that causes the muscles to contract.
- Other drugs that can block neurotransmitters may also help, although side effects such as drowsiness may occur.
- A doctor may recommend enlisting neurologists and other specialists to administer deep brain stimulation, or DBS, for some patients with dystonia. With DBS, small electrodes are used to transmit electrical pulses to the brain’s control centers.
- Finally, various therapies may help manage the symptoms of dystonia, such as speech therapy and physical therapy.
Causes of Dystonia
The exact cause of dystonia is not known. Some doctors believe dystonia may be caused by chemical issues in the brain, brain abnormalities, or brain damage.
Dystonia is typically categorized as one of the following:
- Idiopathic dystonia, which has no clear cause.
- Genetic dystonia, which can be inherited from a parent who carries the illness.
- Acquired or secondary dystonia, which can be caused by physical damage to the brain, environmental factors, or the use of some types of drugs or chemicals.
Medical Malpractice Can Cause Dystonia
Acquired dystonia can be the result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is when a doctor behaves negligently and causes or fails to prevent harm to the patient.
Medical malpractice may cause dystonia in situations where:
- A doctor allows a child’s oxygen supply to be cut off during delivery
- A doctor injuries the child’s brain by applying excessive force or pressure during delivery
- Tools such as a vacuum extraction device or forceps are improperly used during delivery
- A doctor fails to screen the mother for a complicated birth and take measures to plan a safer alternative, such as a cesarean section (C-section) delivery
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Medical Malpractice Cases and Compensation
If doctor negligence caused your child’s dystonia, you may be able to recover compensation in a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
This process may involve gathering evidence that medical malpractice occurred, negotiating for a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company, or filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial. Some states require plaintiffs to produce testimony from a medical expert that malpractice did, in fact, occur in their case. If you work with a lawyer on your case, they may be able to handle these legal tasks on your behalf.
In a successful medical malpractice case, plaintiffs may be able to recover compensations for damages such as:
- Their child’s current and future costs of medical care
- Lost wages for the time they were forced to stop working to care for the child
- Pain and suffering
- And more
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
If you believe that your child’s dystonia was caused by doctor negligence, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help you. We represent families nationwide in medical malpractice cases.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call us at (800) 222-9529. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group takes many cases on a contingency-fee basis, where our clients do not pay for us attorney fees unless and until they recover compensation in a settlement offer or court award.