Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a range of conditions affecting motor control in a person. This is a debilitating disorder which may have far reaching implications for both parents and children born with it.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you need to arm yourself with knowledge regarding what to expect, as well as your options going forward.
Cerebral palsy is the result of brain damage which occurs during pregnancy, labor, or shortly after childbirth. Some of the causes of this disorder include congenital infections resulting in lesions on the unborn baby’s brain, head trauma as a result of forceful labor, negligence such as leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long, and premature birth.
As a parent, you might have noticed that your child hasn’t reached milestones expected for his or her age. This might have led you to seek consultation from a pediatric doctor who may have then run what is called a “General Movements Assessment,” a quick inspection to check your child’s motor function as well as his posture when seated or lying on the floor. This test may lead to a diagnosis, after which you may decide to take a number of steps to help them lead a normal life.
Cerebral palsy is a costly condition due to the need for specialized and extended care that your child may need for most of his or her life. The disorder may also have different manifestations depending on the part of the brain affected. For example, some kids may have problems with gripping and manipulating things meaning that they may need to be fed until a time when they’ve received enough rehabilitation and therapy to enable them to feed themselves. At the same time, kids with this condition usually have muscle weakness and thus aren’t able to move around independently. This may mean that they have to have wheelchairs fitted every couple of years to give them mobility.
Cerebral palsy may be attributed to medical negligence. This is because childbirth carries numerous risks which may not be mitigated by a less than attentive hospital staff. Things like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a condition where the baby’s brain doesn’t receive adequate oxygen during birth, may be the result of leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long or even using forceps to pull the baby out of the womb, causing injury.
We understand and empathize with parents of children born with cerebral palsy in regards to the financial costs of taking care of such a child. If you suspect that a birth injury or medical malpractice may have caused your child’s cerebral palsy, why should you and your family be burdened by this expense? Contact a cerebral palsy attorney to discuss your options for no charge.