What Caused My Child’s Quadriparesis and What Are My Legal Options?


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Birth injuries can take a significant toll on the well-being of the individual affected and his or her family. Often, these unfortunate outcomes could have been prevented had the medical professionals involved in childbirth displayed the right amount of situational competence and foresight.

One of the most devastating of birth injuries, harm to the nervous system, can lead to a debilitating condition known as quadriparesis.

What is Quadriparesis?

Quadriparesis is a type of spastic cerebral palsy that impacts the entire body and permanently alters someone’s life. An estimated 764,000 children and adults in the United States have symptoms of cerebral palsy, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 10,000 babies born in the U.S. this year will develop the condition.

Those afflicted with quadriparesis usually cannot walk, have stiff limbs and minimal neck control. Someone with quadriparesis also often has difficulty speaking and a “moderate-to-severe” intellectual disability is likely.

Other symptoms may include the loss of bladder control and seizures.

What Causes Quadriparesis?

Quadriparesis can be caused by:

  • Infection
  • A neuromuscular disease
  • Injury to the spine

In many instances, quadriparesis could have been prevented. For example, if a physician fails to recognize signs of distress in the fetus and doesn’t take appropriate actions, the infant may develop the condition. Other instances include:

  • Failure to monitor, detect, and treat maternal infections
  • Failure to plan and carry out an emergency C-section
  • Failure to identify and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Failure to use birth-assisting tools correctly

In other cases, a birth injury is passed on from the mother, though a physician’s job is to detect and treat any maternal problems. These types of injuries are usually attributed to infections, such as the group B strep infection or meningitis. Children can catch this from their mothers just by being born, by passing through the birth canal where these infections exist.

Other birth injuries acquired from the mother develop through pregnancy if physicians fail to test for them early enough. These complications include nutritional deficiencies, which are easily prevented by the mother taking supplements.

Spinal injuries that arise during delivery are also common. These types of injuries occur from the use of vacuum extractor or forceps, tools designed to assist in delivery. Other injuries from delivery may include administering the wrong medication or mishandling the infant, resulting in spinal injuries.

Does Quadriparesis as a Result of a Birth Injury Merit Legal Action?

Those who have quadriparesis often require significant amounts of special care, therapy, and ongoing medical assistance.

Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, canes and scooters are necessary to help quadriparesis sufferers move. Physical therapy is also often employed when possible to mitigate the severe muscle atrophy associated with the condition. Other physical functions, such as emptying of the stomach, can also be impaired and needs appropriate measures to help the patient lead a comfortable life.

A study of costs associated with living with cerebral palsy found that over a lifetime, each person suffering from CP needs $800,000 more than the average healthy person. Many of these costs are forced onto families who often find it difficult to obtain all the services they need to help their children.

Individuals who suffer quadriparesis as a result of errors on the part of doctors or other medical professions may be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit. It could represent the best way to cover all of the damages you’ve suffered, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Medication
  • Caretaker expenses
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Distress, both physical and mental

If negligence by healthcare providers caused your child to suffer from a serious birth injury, you may be able to hold them accountable and mitigate the financial burden of such a debilitating condition.

Ross Feller Casey, among the nation’s leading personal injury law firms, has an unmatched record of multi-million-dollar recoveries in birth injury cases, including those involving quadriparesis.

If you suspect that this condition was a result of medical malpractice, contact one of our experienced quadriparesis lawyers now for a free consultation. Ross Feller Casey handles all its cases, including quadriparesis lawsuits, on a contingency basis, which means you will only pay if a financial recovery is made in your case.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.