From the moment parents receive word that they will have a child, they begin to hope that the child will be happy and healthy. However, when their infant is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, parents may instantly wonder how the condition occurred, what it means for the child, whether the condition is curable, and their future options.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Children’s Hospital states that cerebral palsy is the most common of all childhood disabilities affecting the motor senses. Motor disabilities affect a child’s muscle tone, posture ability, and movement abilities.
Can Cerebral Palsy Be Cured or Get Worse?
CerebralPalsy.org states that cerebral palsy cannot be cured. However, the organization also points out that it can be managed if caught and treated early. The damage done to the brain does not worsen as the child ages, but the symptoms of the condition may change as the child ages.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, cerebral palsy symptoms may vary depending upon age and include the following:
- Infants feeling stiff
- Children younger than six months feeling floppy
- Babies older than six months not rolling over
- Children cannot bring their hands together
- Babies older than six months struggle to bring hands to the mouth
- Babies older than ten months unable to stand without holding onto something for support
- Lopsided crawling
Many of these symptoms lessen in time, especially if the baby receives immediate proper care, but we cannot talk about a true “reversal.”
What Causes Cerebral Palsy Before Birth?
Cerebral palsy can be caused by various reasons before, during, or after birth. Multiple factors can impact the child’s still-developing brain, leading to cerebral palsy.
While the mother is still pregnant with the child, the fetus can be exposed to strokes, infections, and diabetes. These can result in a disruption in the typical brain development, resulting in cerebral palsy.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy During Labor?
When a mother is in labor, cerebral palsy can be caused by any event that results in oxygen not reaching the child. This type of injury is often the result of a medical professional’s negligence or mistake. For example, the improper use of forceps or extraction tools during birth can cause trauma to an infant’s head, which can result in the child developing cerebral palsy. Another common cause of cerebral palsy is a breech birth. The Mayo Clinic cites that babies in a breech position stand a greater chance of developing cerebral palsy.
Birth injuries can be traumatic and emotional for new parents to cope with. If you suspect a medical professional’s negligence was to blame, you should discuss the situation with a Baltimore birth injury lawyer from Brown & Barron LLC. The doctors and hospitals will have a whole team of attorneys at their disposal, and your family should have that experience on your side, too.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy Following Delivery?
Strokes, infection, malnutrition, and child abuse are leading causes of cerebral palsy following delivery. Children born prematurely also stand a significant risk of developing cerebral palsy.
Legal Rights of Parents of Children With Cerebral Palsy
There is no doubt that a child born with cerebral palsy will have their entire life dramatically affected. The challenges that children will face will affect what they can do for the rest of their lives, which can take a significant emotional toll on both the child and the parents.
Likewise, the care required for a child with cerebral palsy can create a financial struggle for parents, especially those with large deductibles.
The emotional and financial burdens that the family may experience during their struggle with cerebral palsy do not mean that the parents will love their child any less due to their condition. But if the condition occurred due to the fault of a medical provider’s actions or negligence, you have a right to seek financial compensation.