Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common disabilities that affects movement in childhood.
Did you know it is often preventable?
Cerebral palsy is often the result of bad medical decisions.
Parents of children born with this preventable birth defect face years of increased costs for medical care, therapy and other care. For parents of children with cerebral palsy, the idea that a medial professional’s poor decision making or neglect has allowed their child to suffer is often too much to bear.
It’s important to understand what cerebral palsy is, how it could have been prevented and what you can do if you suspect your child has cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture. Cerebral comes for the Latin word for brain and palsy means a disability of movement.
Cerebral Palsy is most often caused because of an injury to the developing brain, typically prior to or at the time of childbirth. There are different types of Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic, Dyskinetic, Spastic and Mixed).
A competent medical practitioner will know about these increased risks for Cerebral Palsy and will act accordingly to limit damages to the developing baby:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Blood clotting problems
- Fetal development issues
- Rh compatibility between the mother and the baby
- Placental development issues
- Viral Infection of the mother during pregnancy, especially with rubella (German measles)
- Bacterial infection of the mother during pregnancy
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (the baby appears to be too large for the mother’s pelvis, requiring medical intervention for a safe delivery)
- Prolonged loss of oxygen during the pregnancy or birth, or severe jaundice following the birth
Childbirth is complicated and any of the above conditions require health care professionals to use good judgment and make appropriate decisions based on accurate monitoring of the mother and baby as well as clear communication among all of the medical professions.
Cerebral palsy is often preventable. Medical professionals underestimate or overestimate the weight of the baby or allow an assisted vaginal delivery to go on too long or miss an infection during the pregnancy. These moments of poor decision-making cause a lifetime of hurt for children and their parents.
At Turner Law, we want to make sure that parents of children with Cerebral Palsy receive the help they deserve.
Do you suspect your child has Cerebral Palsy?
Early signs of Cerebral Palsy to look for, especially beginning at three months of age can include:
- Low APGAR scores at birth
- Low birth weight
- Problems with sucking
- Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing
- Weak and floppy upper body
- Stiff upper body
- Weak cries
- Constant shrill crying
- Difficulty with temperature regulation
- Failure to reach developmental milestones, like lifting head, rolling over and sitting up or delay in reaching these milestones
- Favoring one side of the body (only turning head one way, or later when crawling, only using one leg or one arm)
- Vision and hearing issues
Cerebral Palsy is not immediately obvious at birth or even in the infancy years. Often, Cerebral Palsy becomes more obvious when children become more mobile and parents and caregivers notice issues with sitting up, crawling and walking. Just because there is a delayed diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy does not mean that you cannot sue for damages if the Cerebral Palsy was caused by the negligence of someone else.
Signs and symptoms of Cerebral Palsy most often appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteadiness of walking, or some combination of these.
The long-term effects of cerebral palsy on functional abilities vary greatly. Some people are able to walk while others aren’t able to walk. Some people show normal to near normal intellectual function, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present.
Increased costs for people with CP:
Cerebral Palsy does not go away. It cannot be cured. Instead, people with CP need continued support and additional medical attention and therapy.
These large costs include:
- Medication from anticonvulsants to anti-inflammatory medications
- Doctor’s appointments
- Equipment, like walkers, canes and wheelchairs
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy (speech is often affected and children have to learn to speak clearly and audibly)
- Psychological support for the child and the family
- Feeding tubes
- Breathing equipment and aids
- Glasses and contact lenses (children with CP have higher incidence of visual difficulties)
- Hearing aids and cochlear implants (children with CP have higher incidence of hearing difficulties)
- Possible surgeries to deal with complications of breathing and digestive issues as well as orthopedic issues
What should you do now?
Contact us at The Law Firm of Turner & Turner so we can determine if your child’s CP was the result of medical malpractice. The call is free. Most importantly, we don’t get paid unless you receive compensation. You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting us. We are the experts and we are skilled in examining the many medical documents to determine what actually happened and what should have happened and if this was preventable. Most importantly, if your child deserves support, we want to be in your corner.
If your child was born with a birth injury, call 1-888-8TURNER for a free consultation with a member of our legal staff who will inform you of your options and how we can help you. You can also click here to complete a confidential, online form to receive a free case review.