Cerebral palsy comes in many forms and from many causes, but all have drastic impacts on families.
Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest form of cerebral palsy, which is often called CP. Sometimes ataxic cerebral palsy is genetic, but not always. It’s particularly tragic when a baby’s cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Sometimes cerebral palsy is caused by a doctor’s error during delivery. This will impact your baby – and the rest of your family — for a lifetime.
The attorneys at The Oshman Firm have extensive experience helping families who are harmed by the negligence of a doctor or medical professional. We can’t take back what happened to your baby, but we can help ensure that your child has the best possible future. We can make sure someone is held accountable for what has happened.
- Section 1
- What is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?
- Section 2
- Symptoms of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
- Section 3
- Causes of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
- Section 4
- Complications from Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
- Section 5
- Treatments for Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
- Section 6
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
What is Ataxic Cerebral Palsy?
Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common form of cerebral palsy, making up less than 10% of all cases. Unlike other forms of cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the cerebellum, the region of the brain responsible for motor control. This can occur during development in the womb due to genetic causes, or it could develop due to an injury or error in the delivery process.
Due to the damage to the cerebellum, people with this type of cerebral palsy tend to move in a very uncoordinated fashion. They may appear off balance, and muscle tremors may make otherwise simple tasks much more difficult. Ataxic cerebral palsy impacts every aspect of daily life.
Symptoms of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
The effects of ataxic cerebral palsy are mostly physical. The cerebellum supports the body’s movements and helps the body maintain equilibrium in a variety of positions. When the cerebellum is damaged, motion is impaired.
People with ataxic cerebral palsy will typically appear clumsy and shaky. Their movements lack precision. They may trip or fall easily in situations where most of us would not, such as on uneven ground, because their body is unable to compensate for a sudden change in orientation.
Symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy include:
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Muscle tremors
- Poor/uneven muscle tone
- Unsteady movements
- Shaking hands
- Difficulty doing precise tasks (such as tying shoes, for example)
- Irregular eye movements
Ataxic cerebral palsy can also affect breathing and speaking. People suffering from this type of CP might speak in a monotone voice while breathing heavily, seeming to slow down or speed up their speech at random.
Causes of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic cerebral palsy results from damage to the cerebellum, in the base of the brain. This can happen in many ways. It can be the result of abnormalities during development, which is often genetic. Other causes include:
- High blood pressure in the mother
- Bleeding on the brain
- Infection in baby or mother
- Lack of oxygen during delivery
Some of these causes are more preventable than others. Perhaps the most egregious is when a baby suffers from cerebral palsy due to an error made by a doctor during delivery. There are many things that can go wrong during the delivery process, and doctors are trained on how to promptly respond when they happen.
When they fail to do so, a baby’s health is put at risk. If your baby develops cerebral palsy as a result, life forever changes not just for your child, but for your entire family. Joy turns to heartbreak.
Complications from Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
A person with cerebral palsy appears uncoordinated and may have difficulty performing simple tasks. For example, when he or she reaches for an object, the hand and/or arm may begin to shake, getting worse as the hand reaches the object. He or she may then not be able to hold the object still enough to perform any meaningful task with it. This can make even the most basic of daily tasks a challenge, from using silverware to writing to brushing one’s teeth.
Treatments for Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
There is no “cure” for ataxic cerebral palsy, or any type of CP, for that matter. But they are medical options that can lessen the symptoms that result.
- Heat may be applied to spasming muscles to prevent or decrease tremors.
- Physical therapy can address strained muscles and help with movement.
- Injections of botulinum toxin A, or botox, can relax muscles.
- Stronger medications such as benzodiazepines can be prescribed to calm the body. This is not a long-term solution.
Some of these treatments carry a hefty price tag. This wasn’t your fault or your baby’s fault, and you should have to bear this financial suffering. That is why you should contact an attorney.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
There are many things that can go wrong in the delivery process. Doctors are trained to recognize potential problems and address them appropriately and promptly. If a baby is without oxygen, even for a short period, brain damage and cerebral palsy are possible. If a baby’s shoulder or neck is stretched during the delivery, tragedy can also result.
If your baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by a doctor’s error during delivery, you need to speak to an attorney experienced with medical malpractice cases.
Medical malpractice cases are complex, and they require diligent attorneys who understand the nuances of the law. The attorneys at The Oshman Firm have a proven record of success and professionalism in medical malpractice cases.
The law places a time limit on bringing a medical malpractice claim. You need to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you can seek justice for your baby.
Contact an Attorney
There is no cost and no obligation to speak with an attorney about your situation. Our lawyers can tell you what we can do to help your family. We have helped many families in New York and New Jersey seek the justice they deserve.
Call us at (800) 400-8182 or fill out the form on this page to talk with an attorney.