Cerebral palsy describes a group of disorders that can involve critical brain and nervous system functions, including learning, movement, seeing, hearing and thinking. This devastating condition is caused by injuries to or abnormalities of the brain, which most often occur while the baby is developing in the womb. Premature infants have a slightly increased risk of developing cerebral palsy, and this condition may also occur during early infancy as a result of several problems, including brain infections, bleeding in the brain, infections in the mother during pregnancy, and severe jaundice. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, including dyskinetic, spastic, hypotonic, ataxic and mixed. Receiving the proper prenatal care may help reduce your child’s risk of developing cerebral palsy. If your child has suffered from cerebral palsy and you believe a medical mistake to be the cause, contact a birth defect attorney to discuss your legal options.
Cerebral palsy symptoms can vary widely depending on the affected person, and can be very mild or very severe; may only involve one side of the body or both sides; and may be more pronounced in either the arms or legs, or involve both the arms and legs. In most cases, symptoms of cerebral palsy are seen in a child before the age of two, and may even present as early as three months. Warning signs of cerebral palsy may include delays in reaching developmental stages like rolling, crawling, sitting and walking. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of this condition, resulting in symptoms that can affect one arm or leg, one side of the body, both legs, or both arms and legs, including:
Other kinds of cerebral palsy may cause symptoms like loss of coordination, tremors, seizures, speech problems, vomiting or constipation, irregular breathing, and urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, and the main goal of cerebral palsy treatment is to help the person be as independent as possible. Cerebral palsy treatment typically requires a team approach and is based on the child’s symptoms and the need to prevent complications. Children with this condition may require physical therapy, orthopedic help, occupational therapy, or other treatments to aid with daily activities and care. Surgery may also be required to place feeding tubes, cut certain nerves from the spinal cord to help with pain and spasticity, and to control gastroesophageal reflux. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder, often requiring long-term medical care depending on the amount of disability. Some complications associated with cerebral palsy include hip dislocation and arthritis in the hip joint, scoliosis, poor nutrition, bowel obstruction, osteoporosis, pneumonia caused by choking, and reduced intellect and communication skills.
Cerebral palsy is a devastating birth defect caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain, and can occur during pregnancy or during childbirth. Improvements in neonatology, or the specialized treatment of newborn babies, have helped reduce the number of babies who develop cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, children continue to suffer from this debilitating condition. If you or a loved one has suffered from cerebral palsy and you believe medical malpractice to be the cause, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You should not have to shoulder the significant physical, financial and emotional burdens that typically accompany lifelong disorders of this kind. Contact an experienced birth defect lawyer today to protect your rights and discuss your legal options.