If your child has cerebral palsy, you might be wondering whether you can hold anyone responsible for the harm to your child. If someone’s negligence leads to the development of cerebral palsy (CP), that person or entity (like a hospital or medical group) could be liable for how the disorder impacts your child.
You do not have to take on the medical establishment by yourself. A Tucson cerebral palsy lawyer can help you evaluate whether you might have a right to money damages for your losses.
You can call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a no-cost case evaluation. There is no obligation.
For a free legal consultation with Tucson Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
An Overview of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is not one isolated issue. When a doctor diagnoses a patient with cerebral palsy, it means that the person has multiple disorders of the nervous system that:
- Impact the patient’s ability to coordinate his muscles, maintain balance, and move his body;
- First showed up shortly after birth or during the first few years of life; and
- Are not reversible.
Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disorder. In other words, the damage to the brain usually does not get worse as the child ages.
CP is not contagious. Also, the neurological disorder is not hereditary.
Cerebral palsy is usually present at the time a child is born, even though the diagnosis might not happen right away. Most children with CP exhibit at least some symptoms within the first three years of life.
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Factors That Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
According to the Mayo Clinic, when a developing brain sustains damage, the person can develop cerebral palsy. The harm can happen before birth, during labor and delivery, or shortly after birth. If an event affects brain development negatively, cerebral palsy can be the result. Some of the possible factors include:
- Inadequate oxygen to the brain of the baby (asphyxia) during a long or difficult labor or delivery
- Fetal stroke that prevents blood from getting to the brain
- Brain bleeds of a fetus or newborn
- Inflammation in or near the brain from an infection of the child or mother
Also, when a mother gets exposed to toxic substances or has an infection during pregnancy, the baby can have a higher risk of cerebral palsy. Some of the common maternal infections associated with cerebral palsy are:
- Zika virus
- German measles (rubella)
- Some sexually transmitted diseases
If a newborn contracts certain illnesses, they can face a significantly increased risk of developing cerebral palsy. For example:
- Jaundice: If severe or untreated, this blood condition can lead to damage to the developing brain.
- Encephalitis: The membranes around the spinal cord and brain can swell from this virus, causing damage.
- Meningitis: This infection causes the same problems as encephalitis, but the cause is a bacteria, not a virus.
It is vital that medical personnel quickly identify and treat illnesses in newborns.
Sometimes, medical experts cannot definitively isolate the cause of the disrupted brain development in the infant.
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Cerebral Palsy is Not Curable
At this time, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. The brain damage is permanent. It is possible, however, to treat specific aspects of CP to improve the quality of life of a person with the disorder. Specialists and parents can teach affected children strategies to overcome or find detours around learning disabilities and developmental challenges.
With intensive early intervention, quite a few children with cerebral palsy can go to school, learn to walk, communicate, and improve motor skills. The range of impairment from CP goes from children with average or above-average intelligence who do not need assistance to those who cannot communicate or walk and need round-the-clock care.
Some of the interventions for CP include:
- Anti-seizure drugs
- Surgery on tight muscles and anatomical issues
- Pain medication
- Muscle relaxing drugs for spasms
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Braces (orthopedic)
- Communication devices
The specific items and services your child will need will depend on the unique facts of his situation.
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How Cerebral Palsy Can Affect a Person’s Life
According to the Cleveland Clinic, although cerebral palsy is a static condition, meaning that it does not get worse with time, a person with CP can experience complications as a child or as an adult, mainly from problems with coordination and weak or spastic muscles. Some of the more common complications include:
- Low bone density because of anti-seizure drugs, incomplete nutrition, and the inability to walk.
- Malnutrition from problems feeding or swallowing.
- Early onset of osteoarthritis: Spastic muscles can cause joint problems that can lead to this degenerative condition.
- Premature aging: People with CP are more likely than not to develop a premature aging disorder before the age of 50.
- Contractures: When a person with CP cannot control the muscles, and they clench and tighten involuntarily, the muscle tissue can become shorter, which is a contracture. Contractures can become so severe in CP that the patient experiences dislocated joints or bent bones.
- Breathing disorders and diseases of the heart and lungs are common in people with CP.
- Depression and other mental health issues can happen with CP due to the social isolation, lack of independence, and the daily challenges of performing simple, everyday tasks.
If you are thinking about going after compensation for your child’s CP and its impacts on his life in Tucson, AZ, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation to see how a Tucson cerebral palsy lawyer may be able to help you with your case.
How to Tell if Your Child Might Have Cerebral Palsy
Every child is different. You child might show some of these early symptoms as an infant or toddler:
- Walking on tiptoes
- Stiff muscle tone or tight muscles
- Overly loose or floppy muscle tone
- Dragging one foot or leg when walking
- Walking without bending the knees, creating a “scissor” gait
- Hyperactive reflexes (being spastic)
- The inability to coordinate muscles (ataxia)
Some children experience pain, unusual sensations, seizures, impaired hearing or vision, and difficulty with potty training.
Take Legal Action Today
Each state has its own statute of limitations and may have its own rules when it comes to birth injury cases. So, it is best to look into hiring a Tucson cerebral palsy lawyer familiar with the laws in your state. For a free case review, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group in Tucson, AZ today at (800) 222-9529 to get started. There is no obligation.