Cerebral palsy is a group of medical ailments that affect a person’s muscle movement and coordination. It is not uncommon for the victim’s senses of sight and hearing to also be affected. cerebral palsy is the most commonly occurring cause of motor disabilities in childhood, and it affects over 17 million people worldwide.
There are many causes and symptoms of cerebral palsy, as we shall see below, but it is important to note that it is usually a permanent condition, and treatments and remedial strategies aimed at helping cerebral palsy patients recover and live independently can be expensive. If your child or a loved one suffers from cerebral palsy, give us a call for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529. We are here to help and will investigate your case to determine whether or not you have grounds for seeking compensation for your cerebral palsy case and to identify which, if any, avenues for paying for medical care are open to you.
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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The symptoms of cerebral palsy generally vary from person to person. It can range from mild cerebral palsy to severe cerebral palsy. In some people, it leads to difficulty in walking or standing. In others, it can lead to difficulty in swallowing or in grasping objects.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy can worsen or improve over time, dependent on the type of damage that was sustained by the brain, as well as the location on or in the brain of that damage. Common signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy include the following:
- Missing specific milestones such as rolling over, sitting, crawling, or walking
- Experiencing muscle tones that range from too floppy to too stiff
- Delayed speech development or difficulty speaking
- Stiff muscles or exaggerated reflexes
- A lack of muscle coordination
- Experiencing tremors or performing involuntary movements
- Excessive drooling or having difficulty swallowing
- Being unable to walk properly
- Suffering from seizures or intellectual disabilities
Many children born with cerebral palsy only show signs of the disorder several months or even years later. Most of the symptoms outlined above usually appear before the child reaches the age of 3 or 4.
If you suspect your child has cerebral palsy, call your doctor, because early diagnosis of cerebral palsy is important to ensuring your child receives the treatment he or she needs. You should also consult with a legal expert, because cerebral palsy, as we shall see below, is often caused by medical negligence, and paying for a child with cerebral palsy can be prohibitively expensive. If your child and your family suffer as a result of a cerebral palsy diagnosis that was caused by the lack of care of negligence of a medical practitioner, team, or facility, you may have a right to compensation.
We understand the devastation that cerebral palsy can cause, and we are here to help you navigate the complex, confusing, and sometimes intimidating landscape of medical malpractice and insurance law so that you can focus on what matters most: the process of healing and helping your child live up to his or her potential.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain injury or the abnormal development of the part of the brain that controls posture, coordination, and body movement. Brain damage leading to cerebral palsy usually occurs before birth. However, it can also occur during delivery or even during the initial years of the child’s life. In most cases, the exact cause of cerebral palsy is not known, but possible causes include all of the following:
- A lack of oxygen reaching the brain of the baby during labor and delivery
- Gene mutations that lead to abnormal brain development
- Severe jaundice after the baby is born
- Infections in the mother, including German measles, herpes, encephalitis, or meningitis
- Bleeding of the brain or a stroke in the unborn fetus
- Head injuries or direct trauma that occur in an accident or as a result of child abuse
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Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors
Determining the cause of cerebral palsy – and preventing it – requires an understanding of the risk factors that put babies and children at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy. These risk factors include all of the following:
- Premature birth, especially before week 32 of pregnancy
- Low birth weight, especially below 5.5 pounds
- Births involving twins or triplets
- Low Apgar scores: These are a measure of the overall physical health of a baby at birth
- Breech births, which is the term used to describe when a baby is not delivered head-first but is delivered feet-first of
- Incompatibility between the blood types of the mother and the baby
- Exposure to toxic substances during pregnancy
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The Long-Term Outlook for Cerebral Palsy Patients
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, it can sometimes be treated and managed, depending on the severity, type, and extent of the cerebral palsy in question. Some people who suffer from cerebral palsy do not need much assistance or care while others may require extensive, long-term, and round-the-clock care for their symptoms and disabilities.
Regardless of the type or severity of the cerebral palsy in question, treatment can significantly improve the lives of the ill individual. The following remedies can be used to help cerebral palsy patients improve their motor skills and their ability to communicate:
- Assistive aids such as wheelchairs, crutches, or braces
- Therapy (speech and physical therapy)
While the above can help patients with cerebral palsy live better, more rewarding, and more fulfilling lives, they are not cheap; even if you have insurance cover, it is very likely that many exclusions to your coverage will apply. You may be restricted to using the services of specific healthcare practitioners, you may only be allowed to undergo specific treatments, or you may have limits placed on the frequency with which you use certain medicines or undergo different types of therapy.
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy, call us today at (800) 222-9529 to determine whether or not you may be entitled to seeking compensation from a negligent party responsible for causing your child’s cerebral palsy and to learn more about the filing and evidence collection processes. We are here to help you recover financial losses incurred as a result of medical expenses, lost time from work, and the pain and suffering you and your loved ones undergo as a result of cerebral palsy that your child should not have suffered. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.