Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

experienced cerebral palsy lawyers who understand the difficulty you are facing

The term ataxic comes from the word ataxia meaning “incoordination” or being “without order”.  This type of cerebral palsy is the least diagnosed comprisingapproximately 5-10% of all cases of cerebral palsy.  

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy can affect any part of the body and is caused by damage to the cerebellum, which is certain scenarios may have been due to medical negligence.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Background

The cerebellum, a relatively small portion of the brain, is located behind the top part of the brain stem (where the spinal cord meets the brain) and is made of two hemispheres (halves).  It contains roughly half of the brain’s neurons (specialized cells that transmit information via electrical signals). 

The cerebellum receives information from the spinal cord, sensory systems, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements.  The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements including balance, posture, speech and coordination resulting in balanced muscular activity.  It is also important for learning motor behaviors.   

Signs and Symptoms of Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

The primary symptoms are problems with balance and coordination of motor skills which can result in difficulties in the following areas: 

  • Maintaining balance and posture
  • Coordinating voluntary movements
  • Learning motor skills
  • Lack of depth perception
  • Tremors and shakiness
  • Cognitive function, including language

Damage to the cerebellum leading to Ataxic Cerebral Palsy can be caused by brain damage occurring either during pregnancy, delivery, or shortly after delivery.  

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits 

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are the cause of thousands of cerebral palsy and brain injuries.  Doctors and nurses caring for the mother and child are responsible for providing safe and effective care before, during and after birth.  When proper procedure is not followed, and the standard of care is broken, permanent brain damage to a child can occur, sometimes leading to Cerebral Palsy.

Possible medical mistakes during delivery or following delivery include the following:

  • Leaving a child in the birth canal too long causing a lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Failure to recognize and treat seizures following delivery
  • Failure to detect a prolapsed cord
  • Excessive use of vacuum extraction
  • Excessive use of Pitocin to induce labor
  • Failure to perform a C-section in the presence of fetal distress
  • Not responding to changes in the fetal heart rate
  • Failure to plan a C-section given the existence of risk factors
  • Failure to timely diagnose and treat jaundice
  • Failure to timely diagnose and treat sepsis and meningitis

Indicators that medical malpractice may have played a role in your child's cerebral palsy: 

  • Emergency delivery with forceps, vacuum extraction, or emergency C-section
  • Your child required resuscitation (CPR) after birth (your child may have been born appearing bluish)
  • Following delivery, your child was transferred to a different hospital, or spent time in the NICU
  • Your child had seizures immediately or shortly after birth
  • Your child required special testing after birth, such as an MRI, or brain scan
  • Your child required oxygen to facilitate breathing after birth
  • Low Apgar Score at birth

Call Latona Law today at (570)825-9000 for a free consultation from an experienced cerebral palsy birth injury attorney

If your child suffered injuries due to complications during pregnancy, delivery, or after delivery Latona Law is here to help.  Latona Law can evaluate your case and get answers because every birth injury deserves to be investigated. 

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