Cerebral palsy is not a disease or a sickness. It is the name given to a group of mental and physical disorders that affect how a person moves and learns. To understand cerebral palsy, we must understand the structure of the brain. The brain is composed of layers. The outermost layer–the gray matter–is where the voluntary movement centers are. This layer is also involved in creating and storing memories, logical thinking, vision, speech, and more.
This layer can sustain damage in many ways, such as through genetic mutations, environmental toxins, or physical trauma. Because this layer is the closest part of the brain to the skull, and because the skulls of babies are quite soft and malleable, birth injuries can lead to damage to the gray matter, leading to issues with the functions that the gray matter controls.
Furthermore, several risk factors can increase your child’s exposure to the risk of developing cerebral palsy. These risk factors include:
- Premature birth–birth at any time before 37 weeks.
- Low birth weight–anything less than five pounds is considered low.
- Problems with blood clotting or strokes.
- Inadequate oxygen supply.
- Blood compatibility issues.
- Infections, whether viral or bacterial.
- Brain inflammation.
- Doctor errors such as forceful pulling on the baby.
- The incorrect use of assistive devices.
- Doctor inexperience.
If your child suffered a birth injury or has cerebral palsy, contact us today. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help, so speak to a professional birth injury attorney at (800) 222-9529.
For a free legal consultation with Lincoln Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Causes and Symptoms
Anything that damages the gray matter of the brain can lead to cerebral palsy. During gestation–the period in which the baby develops inside the mother–so many things can go wrong. The baby’s brain cells may not migrate to the right places. Genetic factors may cause development issues. If the mother is obese, has high blood pressure, or has mental health issues, these factors can place the baby at a heightened risk of developing cerebral palsy. Other factors such as premature birth and low birth weight can also contribute to it.
As for symptoms, cerebral palsy is a highly recognizable disorder. In babies, it can be identified by babies that seem to push away from the caretaker. Issues with swallowing and sucking can also indicate the disorder. In children, issues with running, jumping, playing, or climbing stairs may indicate cerebral palsy. In older individuals, bone issues, misaligned joints, low bone density, frequent hospitalizations, breathing disorders, problems with vision and hearing, and an inability to move around or use the limbs can all develop in a patient who has cerebral palsy.
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Mild cases of cerebral palsy are usually treated with noninvasive therapy, exercise, and medication. Medications such as muscle relaxants–Botox is a muscle relaxant–can help loosen stiff muscles and lower muscle spasticity and rigidity. Various medications can also be used to reduce tremors and shakes, not to mention pain and tingling in the parts of the body affected by nerve or muscle damage. Some of these medications can be taken orally. Others must be taken via injection.
Moderate to severe cases can also benefit from therapy but things become more complicated the more pronounced the patient’s illness is. Bone contractures and frequent fractures can lead to recurring hospitalizations. Feeding issues can cause mouth ulcers. A lack of mobility can lead to bedsores, muscle atrophy, depression, and a great deal of stress on the family. There are few treatments for these issues beyond counseling, support groups, and training for the family on how to care for their injured loved ones.
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There are so many health ailments that are associated with cerebral palsy. Growth defects can develop. Breathing and respiratory problems are not uncommon. The same goes for heart, vision, and hearing issues. Delayed mental development and unresponsiveness to treatments can complicate matters for the family. They may have to juggle the schedules of caretakers or take on additional jobs to pay for treatment. A cerebral palsy diagnosis can change the course of your life, your child’s life, and your family’s life forever.
Many secondary health issues can also develop, such as pain and suffering, social isolation, lost opportunities in life, angst and frustration, depression, and thoughts of self-harm because the never-ending cycle of treatment, hospitalization, care, therapy, stresses at home, and the same cycle all over again can take a toll on the mental and emotional wellbeing of family, especially the patient.
We are here for you and do not want you to think that there is little hope for recovery. Your child’s doctor can give you the information you need about physical recovery, but we will help you file a claim–if a claim is warranted–for damages and compensation that any at-fault parties who caused your child’s injuries may be liable to pay you for.
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Seek Legal Assistance
Many different laws apply to cerebral palsy cases. These include medical malpractice laws, insurance laws, personal injury laws, and civil damages laws. You need to know which laws apply to your case, whom you may have the right to sue, what procedural steps you must take to sue someone, and what other filing requirements or compensation limits may apply to your case.
This is where we can help. We can help you:
- Identify who, if anyone, was responsible for your child’s injuries.
- Connect his or her mistakes to specific damages you were made to suffer.
- Quantify the value of your claim.
- Negotiate with the at-fault parties to see if we can settle amicably out of court.
- Take the defendants to court if they cannot–or refuse to–fairly compensate you.
Time is of the essence. Statutes of limitations apply to cerebral palsy cases. In some jurisdictions, you may have anywhere between six months and two years to file a claim for damages. Some filing limits may be higher or lower so call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to learn more and to take the important first steps towards filing a claim for damages and compensation.