Cerebral palsy causes the affected individual to have diminished, or in severe cases, no control over their muscles. This injury occurs at birth and the condition lasts for the entire life of the individual. Brain injuries never heal. The symptoms of this brain injury may worsen over time, resulting in a need for increased levels of medical care. Though cerebral palsy is sometimes not spotted right away, there are indications that the child may suffer from serious birth injuries — indications that doctors, and sometimes the families themselves, may notice when the baby is delivered.
Symptoms of Hypoxia
The brain injury that causes cerebral palsy is, medically speaking, caused by hypoxia, which is inadequate oxygen in the blood. This is one of the first signs that the injury may be present. When the child is delivered, it may have very bluish skin, a symptom called cyanosis. The child may also be pinned in a position where strangulation is a risk or be known to have the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. A lack of amniotic fluid may also end up causing this condition. When the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, the child’s brain may then suffer this irreversible injury.
The Injury Itself
At birth, the injury that causes cerebral palsy is usually noticed because of a lack of muscle tone. The child may be very stiff or completely limp, but there will be something wrong about how they’re moving and the way their body feels. In many cases, this is why the doctor will order further testing to see if there is damage to the brain. Cerebral palsy in infants is oftentimes detected much earlier than it was in the past because of improved scanning technology that allows doctors to get a look at the brain directly.
Further Down the Road
There are few cases where cerebral palsy won’t be noticed for a long time. If the severity is mild, it may take a while. In some cases, the child is almost completely developed but may have difficulty walking or with more intricate movements. Some children with cerebral palsy grow up to live very normal lives and some of them have no diminishment in their metal capacity and very little diminishment in their ability to move. Some children, however, are completely dependent upon others to render care and will have to pay the costs of round-the-clock medical treatment for their entire lives.