A couple of US nurses were recently sentenced to probation for the malnutrition death of a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. At the time of her death the girl weighed a mere 28 pounds (12 kilograms). Sentenced in Ohio, the nurses were forced to surrender their nursing licences. The nurses pleaded no contest in the accusation that they failed to provide for the girl, with the possibility of serving a year and a half in jail.
Not directly caring for the girl, the two nurses, Mary Kilby and Kathryn Williams were supposed to conduct health assessments and inspections of the girl’s care. According to authorities, numerous incidents of neglect contributed to the death of Makayla Norman in March of 2011. The girl’s mother was sentenced to nine years in jail for her contribution to the neglect that led to the girl’s death.
Cerebral Palsy Suffers Are Often at the Mercy of Caregivers for Everyday Care
Cerebral palsy sufferers are often at the mercy of caregivers and family for their everyday care and well-being. The symptoms of cerebral palsy are often different from person to person with a variety of caregiver needs, depending upon those symptoms. With symptoms ranging from mild to very severe, involving one or both sides of the body and more pronounced in either one or both arms or legs, many cerebral palsy patients require lifelong attendant care.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy are usually noticed before the age of two, and can be noticed as early as three months. Most parents of cerebral palsy sufferers report that they notice delays in their child’s development, particularly in the stages of rolling, sitting, crawling or walking. And, while there are several types of cerebral palsy, most people who suffer from the condition show some common symptoms that could include a mixture of the following.
- Tight muscles that do not stretch. They may tighten up even more over time.
- Abnormal walk (gait), with arms tucked in toward the sides, knees crossed or touching, and legs making “scissors” movements, or walking on the toes
- Joints so tight that they do not open up all the way (joint contracture)
- Loss of movement of muscle groups or muscle weakness (paralysis)
- Symptoms that affect one arm or leg, one side of the body, both legs, or both arms and legs
- Abnormal movement, including twisting, jerking, or writhing of the hands, feet, arms, or legs while awake. These movements worsen during periods of stress
- Unsteady gait
- Coordination loss
- Floppy muscles, especially at rest, and joints that move around too much
- Learning disabilities or decreased intelligence, but intelligence can be normal
- Speech impairments (dysarthria)
- Hearing or vision problems
- Pain (especially in adults) that may be difficult to manage
- Difficulty sucking or feeding in infants
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing in older children and adults
- Problems swallowing
- Vomiting or constipation
- Increased drooling
- Slower than normal growth
- Irregular breathing
- Urinary incontinence
A Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit May Provide You with the Financial Resources to Care for Your Loved One with Cerebral Palsy
With the many challenges that cerebral palsy patients face, it is important that attendant care be adequate. One way to assure that you have the financial capability to care for your loved one is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the doctor, hospital or other party responsible for the birth accident that caused the condition. To determine if you have a viable cerebral palsy claim, contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in cerebral palsy litigation to evaluate your situation.