Infants & Children with Cerebral Palsy
Some parents find out that their newborn has a debilitating birth injury days, or sometimes weeks after the child is born. In many cases, it’s even longer. This is because cerebral palsy primarily affects the muscles, and of course, infants don’t develop their muscles or coordination immediately following birth.
Cerebral palsy in infants results from the baby not getting adequate oxygen during pregnancy, or more-commonly, during a difficult delivery. This causes brain damage which ultimately leads to the development of cerebral palsy.
Because cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain, there is no “cure.” This also means that it is not degenerative, though some symptoms may worsen as the child grows older.
Children with cerebral palsy will often be delayed in development in several ways. They may never actually be able to walk on their own. Some of them will have learning disabilities that may be quite severe as well, but these usually will not become an issue until the child is ready to go to school or to learn basic skills, such as speaking and performing simple tasks. There are various milestones of strength and coordination that most infants reach at about the same time. When an infant lags severely behind, it’s could be one of many signs that they may be suffering from a neurological condition such as cerebral palsy.
Some individuals with cerebral palsy lead active, fulfilling lives, but still require medical care or some type of assistance. Others with this condition are completely disabled, being unable to walk, talk, or feed themselves. When it comes to cerebral palsy, the earlier you begin treatment, the better.
Did Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury?
Sometimes, cerebral palsy in infants is directly attributable to medical negligence on the part of the healthcare provider, the physician , or the nurses attending the birth. If you believe that medical malpractice resulted in baby brain damage that caused your child to suffer cerebral palsy, you should contact an attorney that specializes in CP cases.
On average, it’s estimated the lifetime cost of medical expenses and treatment relating to cerebral palsy will cost over $1 million. For some severely-affected individuals, the costs will be much higher than that. Families affected by such a birth injury may wish to explore their legal options in order to recover the compensation their child will need over the course of their lives.