Contrary to popular belief, cerebral palsy is not a single illness, nor is it a form of brain damage. It is an umbrella term used to describe the illnesses and disabilities that are caused by damage to the brain’s motor centers. This is an important distinction to be made when it comes to handling medical malpractice cases that involve birth injuries and brain damage.
Anything that damages the brain can cause cerebral palsy, and cerebral palsy always affects aspects of an individual’s ability to move. Data and statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on cerebral palsy, lists it as the most common childhood motor disability
Does your child have cerebral palsy? Did he or she require an emergency delivery? Did he or she miss important developmental milestones? If yes, contact a Pasadena cerebral palsy lawyer with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. We will investigate the case for you to determine whether or not medical errors or negligence of any kind contributed to or caused your child’s health issues so that you can seek any damages to which the law entitles you.
For a free legal consultation with Pasadena Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Causes and Symptoms
Neurological illnesses such as cerebral palsy that affect the nerves, muscles, and sensation are usually categorized based on the symptoms and impacts they have on the individual. If two people who have seemingly similar injuries exhibit different symptoms, both illnesses will be treated and categorized differently even if the underlying injuries involved are the same for both.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain’s gray matter, specifically the parts of the gray matter that are responsible for movement. There are many ways the brain’s gray matter can become damaged or injured. Consider the following:
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Maternal illnesses or infections
- Blood incompatibility
- Multiple births
- Abnormal brain development
- Brain trauma
- Doctor inexperience
All of these factors are associated with damage or abnormal development of a baby’s brain. Abnormalities and damage, once they occur, cannot be undone, and the patient will suffer the condition for as long as they live. Although cerebral palsy is a nonprogressive illness in that it does not worsen over time, its symptoms can change as a patient gets older. Consider the following:
- Excessive drooling
- Poor balance
- An inability to hold the head up
- Limited coordination
- Bone contractures
- Spastic muscles
- Limited gross motor control
- Intellectual disabilities
- Problems with vision and hearing
- Epilepsy or excessive shaking
An article in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development says that some of these symptoms of cerebral palsy affect people of a certain age, and others develop over time. For example, excessive drooling and an inability to hold the head up are two symptoms of cerebral palsy that any patient of any age can suffer from. However, for babies, it can make it difficult to feed the child starting in infancy to young childhood.
In adulthood, this lack of nutrition can lead to poor bone development and misaligned joints. Intellectual disabilities and problems with vision and hearing can also make it hard for the person to get around. The long-term treatment of cerebral palsy, lost opportunities in life, social isolation, frustration, mental stress, and the financial drain that care and treatment can place on a family can be hard to bear, so speak with a Pasadena cerebral palsy lawyer for legal guidance. For help, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at (800) 222-9529.
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Associated Illnesses and Treatments
The care costs for children with cerebral palsy are estimated to be between 10 and 25 times higher than the care costs of children who are born healthy. The higher end of the cost spectrum is associated with care for children who have serious illnesses that tend to co-occur with cerebral palsy, such as epilepsy or intellectual disabilities. Care costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the patient, and even if you have insurance cover, the stress and financial drain can overwhelm your family.
In the past, treatments for cerebral palsy focused on attempts to undo the damage that the person suffered during the mother’s pregnancy, during birth, or soon after birth. However, we now know that there is little that can be done to undo that damage, and the wiser thing to do is to treat the symptoms and health issues that cerebral palsy causes instead of trying to undo the permanent injuries that caused it.
Common treatments for cerebral palsy include:
- Physical, occupational, and emotional therapy to help the patient build strength, flexibility, and fine motor skills. Patients can be taught how to adjust to society and follow regular life routines within the limitations of their illnesses
- Surgery or invasive procedures, such as sympathectomies to cut painful nerves, reduce shaking, and loosen stiff muscles
- Speech therapy to help the patient overcome communication issues
- Specialized schooling to help the patient learn and develop mentally
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and crutches or canes. that can help the patient get around on their own more easily
These treatments can be expensive, and some may be needed regularly, as is the case with muscle relaxants to loosen spastic muscles. Relaxants such as Botox may be needed as frequently as once every few months and, coupled with low bone density, frequent bone breaks, and recurrent hospitalizations, these treatments can take a toll on the patient and can lead to frustration, depression, and erratic behavior.
In addition to the costs of treatment, you may have to pay for diagnostic testing to determine the type and extent of your child’s illness before treatments can even begin. These treatments can also be expensive, and there is no reason you should have to pay for treatment if your child’s injuries were caused by preventable medical errors.
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A Pasadena Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help
A Pasadena cerebral palsy lawyer on our team may be able to connect your child’s illness to the actions—or inaction—of the delivery team to establish the connection between the injuries your child suffered, the cerebral palsy that he or she developed, and the costs and expenditures you have had to endure as a result.
For assistance with your child’s case and to speak with a member of our team, contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at (800) 222-9529.