Cerebral palsy is a group of neuromuscular disorders. It affects how a person moves and can negatively affect muscle tone and posture. It is caused by damage or injury to the cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for voluntary motor actions. Damage or injury to the cerebral cortex can happen at any time in many different ways, such as via vehicle accidents, contact sports, or accidents in the home, but it often happens before or during birth.
If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may want to work with a Corpus Christi cerebral palsy lawyer to determine whether or not medical negligence before or during your child’s birth caused damage or injury to your child’s brain. If it did, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. This is very important since the costs of treatment for cerebral palsy can quickly wipe out a family’s savings.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormalities in brain development or injuries to a developing brain. This can be caused by:
- Gene mutations
- Maternal infections
- Fetal stroke
- A disruption of the blood supply to the baby’s brain
- Brain bleeds
- Infant infections leading to inflammation in or around the brain
- Traumatic head injuries to an infant from an accident or a fall
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Medical errors or negligence of any kind that causes any of the above
Beyond these causes, several risk factors also correlate with the incidence of cerebral palsy. These include:
- Breech births, when a baby is born bottom-first
- Low birth weight
- Multiple babies in the same pregnancy
- Premature births, especially babies born before 28 weeks gestation
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Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy usually appear during infancy, toddlerhood, or the preschool years. In most cases, cerebral palsy can be identified by the abnormal reflexes, floppy or rigid muscles, or abnormal posture of the child. The child may also exhibit involuntary movements, be unsteady while walking, or have some combination of these ailments. Your child’s doctor can screen and test your child if you notice these symptoms.
Some patients may have issues swallowing, as well. Excessive drooling and difficulty with speech is a common symptom of cerebral palsy. Eye muscle imbalances that prevent the eyes from focusing on the same object may also develop. Muscle stiffness can also cause problems such as a reduced range of motion, making it difficult for the affected individual to get around on his or her own or perform simple tasks that require some level of coordination.
The breadth of health issues posed by cerebral palsy is vast, but it all depends on where and how the brain sustained damage, the severity of the damage, and the type of cerebral palsy that the patient developed. For example, some people can walk on their own while others require some form of assistance. Some people have normal or near-normal intellect, while others suffer from intellectual and learning disabilities. Seizures, blindness, or deafness may also co-occur with the condition.
A quick checklist of some of the signs and symptoms that you should look for if you suspect that your child may have some form of cerebral palsy or if he or she has missed various growth or developmental milestones includes:
- Excessively stiff or floppy muscles
- Exaggerated reflexes
- A lack of balance or muscle coordination
- Tremors or involuntary, jerky movements
- Favoring one side of the body
- Difficulty walking, walking on the toes, walking with a scissors-like gait, or walking with a wide gait
- Excessive drooling
- Problems with swallowing
- Speech delays
- Learning issues
- Difficulty performing tasks that require fine motor skills
Cerebral palsy may affect the person’s entire body or may be confined to one limb or one side of the body. Furthermore, because cerebral palsy stems from injuries or abnormalities in the brain, there are many other neurological problems that can co-occur with it, such as:
- Issues with vision and hearing
- Mental disabilities
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Dental issues
- Incontinence or bowel issues
- Unnatural responses or sensations to touch and pain
If your child has a cerebral palsy diagnosis, you may want to work with a Corpus Christi cerebral palsy lawyer and his or her team to get a better understanding of whether or not you may be able to seek compensation to help pay for your child’s treatment and care. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to get started.
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Legal and Medical Assistance for Cerebral Palsy
You should see a doctor for a formal medical assessment of your child as soon as you suspect that your child may suffer from cerebral palsy. You may also want to speak to someone from a lawyer’s office, especially if your child was delivered in an emergency or complicated birth. Medical negligence may have contributed to your child’s condition, and you may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable.
You owe it to your family to investigate the case and seek compensation and damages if the negligence of a medical caregiver caused or contributed to your child’s permanent injuries. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we may be able to help you:
- Understand your rights based on the facts of your child’s case.
- Obtain testimony from a medical expert in support of your case.
- Gather additional evidence to support your claim of negligence against your child’s care team.
- Estimate your losses and gather evidence of expenses.
- Negotiate with the at-fault parties to arrive at a settlement.
- Represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
- Keep you up to date and in the loop regarding the progress of your case.
Filing, managing, and following up with a medical malpractice case can be very difficult, especially if you have to care for your child and manage the treatment schedule while working and arranging finances for his or her treatment. We may be able to help. Call our Corpus Christi cerebral palsy lawyer team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to get started.
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