Does Cerebral Palsy Affect Lifespan?
In the vast majority of cases, children with cerebral palsy have the ability to live long and quality lives. Of course, accomplishing this means more extensive medical care than the average person needs to undergo.
The key to ensuring long-term quality of life for cerebral palsy patients is early intervention, which may include special education and other types of technological assistance. The amount of assistance necessary will depend on the level of severity and will differ from child to child.
Concerning Life Expectancy
In order for children with cerebral palsy to enjoy a long and quality lifespan, there are a number of things that may be important, including physical therapy, visits to health care professionals, and maybe even surgery in some cases.
The severity of the child’s condition, as well as improper management of his or her symptoms, may put the child at risk for diminished life expectancy. Although cerebral palsy is not progressive (will not worsen over time), other associated conditions and factors that are not connected to the original brain injury may change over time and have an effect on the overall health and life expectancy of the patient.
Optimization of Life Expectancy
Those who spend the most time with the child—parents and caregivers—know the best ways to meet the child’s needs and are the best equipped to seek options for meeting those needs. They are also the best equipped for providing the help the primary care physician needs in order to track and record the child’s progress, condition, and identify any areas that may be of concern.
Creating and implementing a plan of care can assist both parents and caregivers in maintaining records, identifying goals, and implementing plans of care and treatment.
Since each child’s condition varies in severity and needs, physicians must evaluate and prioritize all goals and plans of treatment on an individual basis. Some of the things parents and caregivers can do in order to optimize both the care the child receives as well as the quality of life include:
- Work with the child’s primary care physician in order to development and make a commitment to treatment goals.
- Make sure to begin treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention provides a better chance for an improvement in the future outcome.
- Become aware of life-threatening complications in order to minimize the factors, take action quickly, and seek the assistance of others whenever necessary.
Eight Factors That Affect Life Expectancy
While the length of time an individual with cerebral palsy is expected to live hinges on a variety of factors, the majority of individuals can expect a healthy lifespan contingent upon the following:
- Proper management of life-threatening associative conditions.
- Implementation of healthy medical care and support of lifestyle.
There are eight factors that generally contribute to a cerebral palsy patient’s life expectancy, which include:
- The patient’s level of disability and impairments.
- The severity of the patient’s condition.
- Restrictions on the patient’s mobility.
- Patient’s difficulty eating or otherwise receiving nutrition.
- Presence of seizures.
- Difficulty with cognitive functioning.
- Visual acuity.
- Problems with respiratory functions.
If you have a child who suffers from cerebral palsy, you may wish to speak to a birth injury lawyer in order to review your potential legal options. Please feel free to call 1-855-833-3707 for a free consultation and evaluation.