According to KidsHealth.org, approximately 500,000 children and adults in the United States live with cerebral palsy (CP). Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that CP is the most common motor disability among young children.
What is cerebral palsy?
CP is a disorder that affects the muscles, mobility and the motor skills of a person. The exact causes of CP are somewhat unknown; however, the condition can result from of labor and delivery issues. This might include infection, a delayed C-section, lack of oxygen, poor monitoring conditions or any other event that traumatizes the brain during labor. Brain damage in infancy or early childhood can also lead to the condition. For example, a baby or toddler might suffer from CP due to a brain injury, which resulted from a car accident.
Cerebral palsy can create a host of life-long health and development issues, including vision or hearing difficulties, speech problems and learning disabilities. Currently, there is no specific cure for CP, but special treatment and different surgical operations can help a person who is living with the condition.
Types of cerebral palsy
There are three main types of CP. Spastic CP causes stiffness and movement issues. On the other hand, athetoid CP leads to involuntary and uncontrolled actions. Ataxic CP is different in that it causes a flawed sense of balance and depth perception.
The symptoms of CP can make simple movements such as walking, sitting, eating or standing very difficult. In addition, other vital functions can be affected by the condition, including breathing, bladder control and bowel management.
Diagnosing the condition
At this time, there is no concrete test used to diagnose cerebral palsy. In cases of birth trauma, a child may be diagnosed soon after the delivery. Otherwise, many individuals are diagnosed within the first few years of life. For those with milder symptoms, a diagnosis may not be uncovered until the brain is fully developed.
If your child suffered distress during his or her delivery, cerebral palsy could be a consequence of the experience. Any damage to your child’s brain could be especially suggestive of the disorder. If this is the case, you may benefit from speaking with a qualified medical malpractice attorney. If medical negligence or carelessness led to your loved one’s disabling condition, your child and family should be compensated for this harm. To learn more about CP and your recovery options, contact an experienced lawyer.