Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder which affects movement, muscle tone, and body posture. This disorder occurs most often where there is damage to the brain before birth. Typically, the signs of cerebral palsy appear while the child is an infant or young toddler, and last throughout the child’s life.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cases of cerebral palsy are typically caused by a disruption or abnormality in a baby’s developing brain before they are even born. There are many ways this disruption can happen; sometimes it can stem from a genetic mutation in the child or a complicated birth process, but cerebral palsy can also be the result of medical negligence during labor.
Some of the ways that medical negligence can lead to brain damage and cerebral palsy include:
  • Failure to monitor - When a physician neglects to adequately monitor the baby’s condition during labor, they may not notice things like a lack of oxygen, which can lead to infant brain damage and cerebral palsy.
  • Failure to perform a C-section - During birth, if an infant is getting insufficient oxygen, often a C-section is ordered for the safety of child and mother. If a physician does not recognize the need for a c-section or fails to perform it, that physician may be held liable for damages.
  • Improper response to fetal distress - Medical professionals are trained in how to respond to emergencies during birth. If the medical team fails to respond appropriately to an emergent situation, they may be held responsible for the ensuing consequences to the baby’s health.
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What are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

There are many symptoms of cerebral palsy; which ones will show up in a given patient can vary on an individual basis, but usually a child suffering from cerebral palsy will display slowed reflexes, difficulty moving, abnormal movement, diminished mental capacities, or any combination of these.
Symptoms can also vary in severity. For example, some of those with the diagnosis can walk without issue, while others have such impaired movement that they require assistance their entire lives. Similarly, some individuals with cerebral palsy have intellectual disabilities, while others have normal or near-normal mental abilities.

How is Cerebral Palsy Treated?

When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, there are a variety of different treatment methods and options available. Physicians will determine which of these are appropriate based on the individual’s symptoms and the severity of those symptoms. The physicians involved in providing a health care plan may suggest some or all of these treatments in combination.
Certain medications can reduce tightness in the muscles and help with day-to-day physical functionality, while developmental, mental health, and occupational therapies can assist in developing communication and interpersonal skills. Some patients who experience extreme neurological or orthopedic damage may be referred to surgery. All cases of cerebral palsy require long-term treatment of some type.

What Are The Long-term Effects of Cerebral Palsy?

While cerebral palsy is a condition which occurs in children, all children must grow up. When a child with cerebral palsy reaches adulthood, the condition will not worsen, but there are additional challenges that they will have to face. Usually when a patient with cerebral palsy is between their 20s and 40s, they will experience rapid aging, including an increased amount of pain, difficulty walking, and a heightened risk for injury. Long-term care for those with cerebral palsy can be very expensive.

Is Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?

About 10,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year. Several thousand of these are the result of preventable medical errors, such as failure to detect fetal distress during delivery, failure to perform necessary testing, or medication errors. Medical negligence occurs when a health care professional does not meet certain standards of care.

How Can a Lawyer Help With My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition which requires daily maintenance and care. With the appropriate care plan from physicians, it is possible for those with cerebral palsy to have a measure of independence in their lives. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as the result of medical negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. A lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and hold negligent parties accountable.

We’re Here for You

Morgan & Morgan’s experienced birth injury lawyers are here to provide the support you need when your child is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. We have recovered millions on behalf of children who were negligently harmed during the birth process. A lawsuit can provide compensation that eases the financial burden of your child’s special needs and care.

How to Get in Touch With a Lawyer

To speak with a birth injury attorney at Morgan & Morgan, call (855) 300-4456 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation.
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8am - 8pm M-F