Cerebral palsy is a condition that can be very complex, though some of the misconceptions about it are based in a bit of truth. Here are few that you’ll want to divest yourself of to better understand this condition.
1. “It’s Genetic”
Cerebral palsy does have some effects that are similar to genetic conditions, such as cognitive impairment, but it is not passed on via the genes. Cerebral palsy is the result of permanent damage to a baby’s brain. The trauma to the brain caused by this condition never actually heals, so all that can be done is to provide treatment to lessen the severity of the symptoms.
2. “It’s a Disease”
Cerebral palsy is not a disease. As mentioned above, it is caused by brain damage (which can sometimes result from infections and other illnesses). Cerebral palsy is a disorder. There are cases, however, where illnesses brought about by bacteria and viruses may end up causing the brain injuries that result in cerebral palsy.
3. “It’s Not Treatable”
While the actual brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy is not treatable, many of the symptoms are treatable. In fact, there are new treatments being developed all the time. Doctors use a combination of injections, oral medications, and in some cases, treatments involving temperature to help loosen spasmodic muscles and to offer the sufferer more control over their motor skills.
4. “It Will Continue to Get Worse”
For many parents, the fact that cerebral palsy does not worsen with age is one of the few bits of good news they get in this situation. Cerebral palsy, as far as the brain injury is concerned, will not get worse on its own. There are cases, however, where the symptoms of the disorder get worse. For example, an older individual with cerebral palsy may have more trouble walking than they did when they were younger.
4. It’s Completely Debilitating
Cerebral palsy is sometimes completely debilitating, but this is not usually the case. In fact, some people with cerebral palsy only have symptoms that manifest once in a while, for instance, some people have painful muscle cramping that might leave them bedridden for a while but, most of the time, they will be able to get around as well as anyone else. The same is true of cognitive impairments. Some people suffer significant cognitive impairment and other people are just as intelligent and capable as anybody else.
Having a child with cerebral palsy doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to end up paying tens of thousands of dollars every year for various forms of assistive care, but the treatments can be very high. This is the reason that people sometimes file a lawsuit over children being afflicted with this condition. When medical malpractice is to blame, the idea that the parents would be saddled with the stresses of coming up with the sums of money required for proper treatments is untenable.
Speaking with an attorney is the best way to determine whether or not you should be considering a lawsuit. They cannot promise that you’ll win, but they may be able to determine whether or not it’s worth it to press for a jury award or a settlement from the healthcare provider responsible for your child’s injury.