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Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy

Quadriplegic cerebral palsy means both arms and both legs are affected by this condition. This is the most severe form of cerebral palsy and patients often suffer from some degree of mental retardation. The limbs are extremely stiff but the neck often is floppy. These patients can rarely walk.

Children and older patients with quadriplegic cerebral palsy often have difficulty speaking and are hard to understand. Frequent seizures that are difficult to control occur fairly often in these patients.

Children who are most likely to have cerebral palsy and be quadriplegic have had a difficult birth process and suffered complications while being born, such as being severely asphyxiated. These babies' brains have been deprived of oxygen and may suffer widespread brain damage as a result.

Their perinatal (occurring just before during and after birth) health problems in addition to asphyxia may include:

  • Very low birth weight and prematurity
  • Bleeding in their brains
  • Breathing fluid into the lungs
  • Severe meningitis

The children with cerebral palsy also can be suffer brain damage after birth. They are said to have acquired cerebral palsy. The condition may be cause by a car accident, a serious fall, or being shaken too violently by someone. The latter is known as shaken baby syndrome. These various brain traumas that cause acquired cerebral palsy usually occur sometime in the baby's first two years of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy

The legs of the baby as well as the arms are affected by this condition. The limbs are stiff and rigid, but the neck is limp. The babies often are premature and weigh very little at birth (less than 1,000 gm or under 2.2 pounds at the extreme end of the specturm). They may have had jaundice at birth, which can lead to brain cell destruction and cerebral palsy.

Other Problems Associated with Cerebral Palsy

Other medical conditions that exist during labor and delivery can be warning signs that a child might be born with cerebral palsy. These conditions include the following:

  • Multiple births have been linked to cerebral palsy. Being one of twins, triplets and additional multiple births increases the risk that the baby will be born with cerebral palsy. If one of the other infants dies, this risk increases further.
  • Children born with cerebral palsy often have a low Apgar score, a way of rating the condition of a baby when first born. The higher the score, the more normal the baby. A low score after ten to twenty minutes after birth may indicate the child has problems including cerebral palsy.
  • Maternal exposure to toxic substances during her pregnancy, such as methyl mercury, which occurs in some fish.
  • Mothers who are mentally retarded, have thyroid abnormalities, or have seizures.
  • Rh incompatibility, an incompatibility between the mother's and the baby's blood type, a condition that occurs most often outside the United States.
  • Seizures in the infant.

Help for Parents

If your baby is diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, it can be a devastating event. Our cerebral palsy lawyers may be able to help you get the compensation you need to pay for what can be costly treatments and 24 hour care for your child.

We may also be able to help you recover compensation so you can stay at home and take care of your child. To find out if we can help you, please contact us today and schedule a free case review with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer.