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. Doctors generally diagnosed CP in newborn children and babies. Doctors characterized CP by one or more tight muscle groups that limit movement. Children who suffer from CP will show signs of stiff and jerky movements as early as their first days.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
There are several causes of cerebral palsy. However, CP generally occurs because of brain damage sustained before, during, or after birth. While medical experts can’t determine an exact cause, some injuries increase CP risk. Cerebral palsy is far more likely in babies that have suffered birth injuries like:
- Brachial Plexus Injury – The network of nerves running through the spine suffer damage.
- Shoulder Dystocia – When doctors cause damage from using extra force to deliver a baby whose body cannot pass after the head.
- Forceps Delivery Injury – The mother or baby suffer a damage from excessive force used with forceps to deliver the child.
- Vacuum Extraction Injury – A vacuum instrument causes nerve damage or injuries to the mother or child.
- 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 CP 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 CP may have their legs turned inward when their parents pick them up and difficulty lifting their heads. Other signs 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.
Experienced 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 the experienced cerebral palsy lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP for a free and confidential consultation.