Cerebral palsy is a permanent illness that has an incidence rate from 1.5 to more than 4 per 1,000 live births. There are many serious illnesses that commonly co-occur with cerebral palsy, including epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. The care costs for children with cerebral palsy, especially those who suffer from these co-occurring illnesses, can be up to 25 times higher than the costs of caring for children who were born healthy.
These costs can cross $1 million over the lifetime of the affected individual even if you exclude other costs the family may face such as lost income, lost work opportunities, pain and suffering, and the social and emotional isolation the child and the family may be forced to deal with. A cerebral palsy attorney can help you manage your child’s cerebral palsy case and come to terms with these challenges. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for assistance and to seek damages if applicable.
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Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in Your Child
There are many different types of cerebral palsy, which we discuss further below, each of which has specific signs and symptoms specific to that type of palsy. However, because of the wide range of physiological symptoms that patients can exhibit in response to brain damage of different types, there are no hard and fast definitions for the symptoms of cerebral palsy. It all depends on the type of damage involved and how and where the brain was affected.
Since parents are usually the first ones to notice issues with the health, growth, and development of their child, they should educate themselves about the signs below that may indicate cerebral palsy.
- An inability to raise the head when picked up from the floor.
- Excessively stiff or floppy muscles.
- An inability to roll over.
- Lopsided crawling.
- Difficulty bringing the hands to the mouth.
- An inability to bring the hands together.
- Scooting on the buttocks and not crawling on all fours.
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Types of Cerebral Palsy
The types of treatment that your child needs will depend on the type of cerebral palsy your child has and the severity of his or her condition. For example, mild cases of spastic cerebral palsy may be manageable with basic physical therapy, whereas dyskinetic cerebral palsy may require the use of beta-blockers or muscle relaxers to help the patient overcome the uncontrollable movements his or her condition causes.
Here is what you need to know about the three basic categories of cerebral palsy.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
This is the most common type of cerebral palsy. It affects about 80% of all patients and leads to stiff muscles and awkward movements in either just the legs, just one side of the body, or the entire body and the face. Serious cases can render an individual bedridden and it may cause secondary issues with vision, hearing, and speaking. Over the long run, malnutrition as a result of an inability to eat or swallow can cause bone or joint deformities.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy causes uncontrollable movements, making it difficult to walk and sit and control the hands, arms, feet, and legs. It can also lead to difficulty eating or speaking.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic cerebral palsy causes issues with balance and coordination. The affected individual can have issues with walking or actions that require fine motor skills.
The injuries that cause these types of cerebral palsy can occur naturally. Consider a genetic mutation or a congenital abnormality in the brain. These issues are beyond the control of the doctor. Other causes, however, such as physical trauma to the baby’s brain, medical errors, medication mistakes, misdiagnosis of an issue, or other issues such as doctor inexperience can be classified as preventable.
In cases that involve preventable birth injuries such as these, if it can be proven that the delivery team could have or should have taken steps to prevent those injuries but failed to do so for whatever reason, they may be guilty of medical malpractice. A Midland cerebral palsy lawyer can help you pinpoint which damages you may be entitled to.
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Long-Term Prognosis for a Child Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy
There is no known cure for cerebral palsy. The types of brain damage that cause cerebral palsy do not heal over time, so the effects of damage are also permanent. Various treatments, however, can help the individual cope with and perhaps overcome his or her symptoms.
Depending on the degree of disability that occurs, your child may require surgery, therapy, medications, or the use of assistive devices. Your doctor can tell you more about which treatment or treatments are best suited to helping your child with his or her illness.
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Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney to Learn About Legal Options Available to You
A cerebral palsy attorney can help you:
- Identify the cause and extent of your child’s injuries.
- Ascertain whether or not medical negligence was involved.
- Gather the evidence needed to prove a claim.
- Obtain testimony from a medical professional in defense of your claim.
- File a claim on time, within the statutes of limitations, with the right courts.
- Connect you to the care and treatment centers best suited to rehabilitating your child.
Your child and your family will have to live with treatment costs and the ripple effects that cerebral palsy has on your financial and emotional wellbeing regardless of how it happened. However, if medical malpractice caused your child’s injuries, it is highly unfair for you to have to bear those burdens on your own. We are here to help and will assist you in seeking any compensation that you may legally be entitled to.
Get help from a Midland cerebral palsy lawyer at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group by calling (800) 222-9529. We provide services on a no win, no fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you win your case. We have years of experience handling a wide range of birth injury cases and have helped countless families understand, address, and overcome the challenges they face, so call us today.