Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong brain disorder that can make a person have difficulty controlling the movements of his arms, legs, and other body parts. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but thankfully, the condition typically does not become more severe over time.
Providing medical care, therapy, and other supports for a child with cerebral palsy can cost a fortune. The child might not be able to live independently or support himself through employment as an adult. When someone’s negligence causes a child in Carmel to sustain a brain injury that leads to CP, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can advocate to hold the negligent party responsible. Call (800) 222-9529 today for a no-cost case review by a Carmel cerebral palsy lawyer.
For a free legal consultation with Carmel Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
An Overview of Cerebral Palsy
Although cerebral palsy is a condition that results from atypical development of or damage to certain areas of the brain, many people with CP have near average, average, or above-average intelligence. CP involves the brain’s ability to send correct signals to muscles throughout the body to move and work together. CP does not, of itself, affect the intellect, but can have co-occurring conditions in other areas of the brain.
Most diagnoses of cerebral palsy happen when the baby is at least six months old. Many children do not receive a diagnosis until they are a year of age or older. When a child does not achieve the expected developmental milestones for children, the parent often turns to the doctor for an evaluation, or the healthcare professional notices the delayed development during an examination.
Some of the early indications that a child might have CP include:
- Lack of control of the head. The baby might not be able to turn his head as he wishes. He might be rigid, spastic, or “floppy.”
- The baby might have challenges when feeding, due to lack of motor control of the mouth and swallowing.
- The child might struggle to reach out and grasp the desired object because of motor and coordination issues.
- The baby might not have the ability to sit, stand, or walk at the typical ages for those developmental milestones.
At one end of the scale, a person with cerebral palsy could be able to walk, with or without a limp, have average or higher intelligence, and be able to live independently while supporting himself financially through gainful employment. The full spectrum can include people at that level, as well as people who need full-time assistance and monitoring with feeding and mobility, and every stage between these two points on the scale.
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Things That Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
Different areas of the brain control different functions. If regions of the brain that control balance, coordination, and muscular function are damaged or do not develop correctly, an individual can have difficulty walking, standing, sitting, and using the arms as desired.
Most cases of cerebral palsy happen before or during birth. If a baby or child gets an infection or experiences a head injury, they can acquire CP. A Carmel cerebral palsy lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you evaluate whether someone can be accountable for your child’s CP. You can call (800) 222-9529 today for a free consultation.
More cerebral palsy symptoms and causes that occur before, during, or shortly after birth include:
The brain relies on a constant flow of blood to feed it the oxygen and other nutrients it needs to live. An interruption or decrease in the blood flow to the brain for just a few minutes can cause the death of brain cells. Depending on where these cells are, the baby can develop CP as a result.
Oxygen deprivation can happen because of complications during labor and delivery. If the labor lasts for a longer than a usual amount of time or the baby gets stuck in the birth canal, the supply of oxygen can get interrupted.
If left untreated, jaundice can lead to brain damage in a newborn from high levels of the chemical bilirubin in the bloodstream. Prompt treatment and close monitoring can prevent injury to the brain from jaundice.
Infection of the Mother or Fetus During Pregnancy
If the mother contracts a virus or another infection during pregnancy, the baby can develop cerebral palsy. Of course, plenty of pregnant women get a cold or the flu while pregnant and give birth to perfectly healthy children. Getting sick during pregnancy is not a guarantee that there will be a complication. In some cases, however, the illness affects the growing fetus and causes brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy.
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How Cerebral Palsy Can Impact a Person’s Life
Depending on the severity of the condition, CP can cause a person to have spasticity (shaking) of the arms or legs, and difficulty with motor control. Motor control means that your body does what you want it to do, like pick up a pencil or stand up and walk across the room. Many people with CP experience weak muscles or stiffness and clenched muscles.
When a person experiences brain injury severe enough to damage the motor control and coordination and cause cerebral palsy, other areas of the brain often sustain injury. Although these collateral issues are not part of CP, many people with CP also have these challenges:
- Difficulty breathing without respiratory assistance
- Lack of bladder and bowel control
- Intellectual impairment
- Impaired hearing, sight, or speech and language
Cerebral palsy is different in every person who has it. An individual might have only a few of these conditions, or he could experience additional issues not included in this discussion.
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How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help With a Cerebral Palsy Case in Carmel
Birth injury cases are sophisticated lawsuits. It can be helpful to have a Carmel cerebral palsy lawyer help explore your options and advocate for you and your child.
You will likely incur increased medical expenses for your child’s treatments. Your child might face life-long limitations and pain.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation.