Mixed Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a developmental disorder caused by brain damage, often lack of oxygen, that takes place before, during or shortly after birth. Infants diagnosed with mixed CP have damage to centers in various parts of the brain that control motor functioning.
This condition is referred to as “mixed” CP, as it encompasses symptoms from the other types of cerebral palsy. One method to classify CP is to describe the predominant motor characteristics, which include spastic, hypotonic, athetotic, dystonic, and ataxic. For instance, spastic CP is characterized by high muscle tone which causes stiffness and jerky movements. Athetoid CP (also called dyskinetic cerebral palsy) is often characterized by slow, uncontrolled movements of the extremities and trunk. Ataxic CP primarily involves issues with balance and coordination that affect normal movement.
Children with Mixed CP display a combination of the above, including spastic, exaggerated and involuntary movements, abnormal reflexes, poor posture, tremors, and lack of coordination.
Causes and Risk Factors:
All cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the developing brain. Different types of cerebral palsy stem from injuries to various motor control centers of the brain. Multiple parts of these centers may be damaged in Mixed CP, thus resulting in the range of movement problems described above.
Brain damage can be caused by a number of factors. Birth injuries that increase the risk of Mixed CP may be caused by the following medical misjudgments, errors and omissions:
- not detecting infections during pregnancy;
- drugs or surgery causing adverse effects;
- neglecting proper fetal heart rate monitoring;
- not performing a medically advisable cesarean section;
- improper use of delivery instruments;
- not detecting issues with the umbilical cord;
- mismanagement of normal delivery procedure; and
- ignoring or not treating severe jaundice in the newborn.
Treatment for Mixed Cerebral Palsy:
Treatment for cerebral palsy is lifelong. Though the range of treatments for CP will vary depending on severity, children with mixed CP will often require physical, occupational and speech therapies, medications to help control motor function or manage co-morbid conditions, and they may require surgery. Moreover, many children with Mixed CP require assistive aids and 24-hour care.
Raising a child with CP can be extremely costly. If your child’s CP has been caused by a preventable brain injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Medical malpractice cases, particularly with respect to birth trauma, are complex and require legal and medical expertise. The lawyers at Wagners are experienced in birth trauma cases, and have secured compensation for many clients with CP, and their families.