Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy

Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy: What You Should Know

Spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy is a form of spastic cerebral palsy that affects both the arms and the legs. People suffering from this condition display jerky, stiff movements with hypertonia (stiffness) of the muscles. Thus, even though the word “quadriplegic” is often associated with the full paralysis of all four limbs, spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy involves spasticity of the limbs, rather than an absolute inability to move.

Of the various forms of cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia is the most severe and has the most disabling effects on the body.

This is why health care providers are trained and expected to look for signs and symptoms that a baby may be experiencing oxygen deprivation in the womb, so that interventions are employed to resolve the situation promptly before brain damage occurs. Some of those interventions include turning and repositioning the mother, giving the mother oxygen and IV fluids, stopping any uterine contraction medications (such as Pitocin), asking the mother to stop pushing. When these measures fail to resolve the situation, or if a rupture of the womb is suspected, a caesarean section delivery often is required under the standard of care.

Likewise, health care providers are trained to look for signs that the womb may be tearing or the placenta may be pulling away from the womb, and if so, intervene immediately to rescue the baby.

Since bleeding strokes are known to cause oxygen deprivation to a child in the womb, it is standard of care for health care providers who are treating women prenatally to monitor closely and manage a pregnant woman’s high blood pressure to reduce the risk of stroke both for the mother’s sake and for the sake her baby.

child suffering with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy

How Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy Affects Children

Unfortunately, if a child is suffering from spastic quadriplegia, the stress on the body created by spasticity often causes other complications, as well. Those complications may include:

  • Painful joint deformities, resulting from the constant contracting of muscles
  • Scoliosis
  • Limb deformities
  • Hip dislocation

Moreover, young patients suffering from spastic quadriplegia will also find that their trunk, along with the muscles that control the mouth, tongue and windpipe, are also affected. Thus, babies with this form of cerebral palsy may have problems sucking and swallowing. They might require the installation of a feeding tube and periodic suctioning to remove mucus and other fluid buildup in the throat and mouth. As a result, they may never be able to talk normally.

What causes spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy?

Spastic quadriplegia is caused by extensive brain damage or congenital malformations of the brain. This brain damage can occur during the birth process if:

  • There is a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain arising from compression of the umbilical cord
  • There is damage to the placenta
  • The baby suffers a stroke causing bleeding in the brain
  • There is a rupture in the womb

How can a physician try to prevent spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy?

A physician’s negligence during a child’s birth can play a major factor in a child suffering brain damage and thereby developing spastic quadriplegia. This is why healthcare providers are trained and expected to look for signs and symptoms that a baby may be experiencing oxygen deprivation in the womb, so that interventions are employed to resolve the situation promptly before brain damage occurs. 

Some of those interventions include:

  • Turning and repositioning the mother 
  • Giving the mother oxygen and IV fluids, 
  • Stopping any uterine contraction medications (such as Pitocin) 
  • Asking the mother to stop pushing

When these measures fail to resolve the situation, or if a rupture of the womb is suspected, a caesarean section delivery often is required under the standard of care.

Likewise, healthcare providers are trained to look for signs that the womb may be tearing or the placenta may be pulling away from the womb, and if so, they must intervene immediately to rescue the baby.

Since bleeding strokes are known to cause oxygen deprivation to a child in the womb, it is standard of care for healthcare providers who are treating women prenatally to monitor closely and manage a pregnant woman’s high blood pressure to reduce the risk of stroke, both for the mother’s sake and for the sake of her baby.

What to Do if a Birth Injury Has Resulted in Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy

The medically-trained attorneys at Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC are well-versed in medical malpractice law and have built a successful practice helping parents recoup damages after their children have been injured during birth. If you find yourself in this situation, contact our seasoned cerebral palsy injury lawyers today to schedule a consultation.