Indiana Cerebral Palsy Legal Help
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Cerebral palsy is not a singular condition, but rather a series of conditions that affect the body’s movements due to damage to the brain occurring before, during, or after birth. It comes with varying degrees of disability—from mild to severe. The cause may be related to medical malpractice, and for those cases, it is important to enlist the services of an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer who has had extensive experience litigating medical malpractice cases involving cerebral palsy.
Recognition and Development
Cerebral palsy is non-progressive which means it will not become worse as the child gets older. This doesn’t mean the symptoms will not change over time—sometimes they will get better and sometimes they will get worse. CP creates more chronic childhood disabilities than any other condition.
Every year approximately 10,000 infants born in the United States and as many as 1,500 preschoolers are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Estimates from the United Cerebral Palsy Association indicate in excess of 764,000 Americans suffer from cerebral palsy.
As if the presence of one condition is not enough for parents to endure, somewhere between 35-50 percent of all children who have CP also suffer from a seizure disorder and some degree of intellectual disability. There may also be learning disabilities along with vision, hearing, speech, and language problems.
There are still many things we don’t know about the causes of cerebral palsy, but most theories support the premise that some factors are common in babies who have been diagnosed with CP, such as:
- Infections during pregnancy
- Poor oxygen supply to the brain before, during, and right after the birth of the baby
- Serious illnesses during the early years of the baby’s life (e.g. meningitis)
- Traumatic physical injuries
- Severe dehydration
- Other birth injuries
If a brain injury occurs during the baby’s development in the womb, it is likely to cause cerebral palsy. This condition may remain unnoticed for months after birth, but is usually diagnosed within the first few years of life. Brain injuries are the cause of CP in approximately 70 percent of cases, while another 20 percent are caused by a brain injury that occurred during the delivery process.
United Cerebral Palsy reported that approximately 10 percent of children who have cerebral palsy develop the condition after birth. This means that brain damage occurred during the baby’s first months or years of his or her life. Some of the more common risk factors that may contribute to the likelihood of developing CP at a later date include:
- Breech births
- Problems with the vascular or respiratory systems during the infant’s birth
- Birth defects of a physical nature
- Low Apgar score ten to twenty minutes after the birth of the baby
- Birth weight below 5 pounds, 7-1/2 ounces and premature birth
- Baby that is part of a multiple birth
- Malformation of the congenital nervous system
- Development of seizures shortly after the baby is delivered
Mothers who experienced bleeding or excessive protein in their urine late in pregnancy are at an increased risk of having a baby with cerebral palsy. This is also true of mothers who suffer from thyroid problems.
If your child has developed cerebral palsy because of a medical mistake, you’ll want to speak to an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer. Call us today at 1-855-833-3707 for a free consultation, and discover the legal options which may be available to your family.