What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a devastating condition that occurs during birth and lasts for the entire life of the child. It is generally first diagnosed in newborn children and babies and is characterized by one or more tight muscle groups that limit movement. Children who have cerebral palsy will show signs of stiff and jerky movements as early as in their first days. If your child has cerebral palsy and you suspect a birth injury may be the cause, there is limited time to act. Call our Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer for a free and confidential consultation.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Although there can be several causes of cerebral palsy, it is generally caused by brain damage that occurs before, during, or after birth. While medical experts have attempted to pinpoint an exact cause of cerebral palsy, it is far more likely to occur in children who have suffered a birth injury such as:
- Brachial Plexus Injury – The network of nerves running through the spine are damaged.
- Shoulder Dystocia – Labor where the shoulder of the infant cannot pass after the head does, requiring extra force to be used during delivery.
- Forceps Delivery Injury – Where forceps are used in the delivery or C-section in a way that causes harm to the baby or mother.
- Vacuum Extraction Injury – Where a sucking instrument is used in the delivery or C-section in a way that causes harm to the baby or mother.
- Hypoxia – Where the mother or baby suffers an injury due to lack of oxygen.
What are the Signs of Cerebral Palsy?
One of the most common signs of cerebral palsy is spastic diplegia, a tightness or stiffness in the arms and/or legs. This is characterized by limited movement in both legs and can even extend into the arms. Babies with cerebral palsy may have their legs turned inward when their parents pick them up and difficulty lifting their heads. Other signs of cerebral palsy include reaching for things with only one hand, crawling with one hand or leg, or the inability to crawl or stand up at all by the first year.
Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
Unfortunately, even in our technologically advanced society, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are there are a range of treatments for those with the disorder ranging from physical therapy to medications. The earlier the cerebral palsy is diagnosed, the more effective these treatments are. However, families with children who have the condition are financially burdened with bills for long-term cerebral palsy care, including medical expenses, physical therapy, and special education.
Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If your child has cerebral palsy and you suspect a birth injury may be the cause, there is limited time to act. Call our Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer for a free and confidential consultation.