Cerebral palsy is a type of disorder that generally affects a child’s motor and movement development. It may be caused by doctor errors or birth injuries.
Every parent in Kentucky, and elsewhere, hopes for a healthy baby. However, there are a number of conditions, which may present early in the lives of some children. Cerebral palsy, a type of motor disability, is one such disorder, and it commonly affects children throughout the U.S. It is estimated that one out of every 323 children suffers from cerebral palsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is still much to be learned about cerebral palsy, and its causes. However, it is believed that doctor errors may play a role in causing this condition in some cases.
What is cerebral palsy?
In general, cerebral palsy is the term used to identify a group of neurological disorders that generally cause motor disabilities. Typically, it affects children's movement, muscle tone and posture. Often, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the onset of this class of disorders occurs during infancy, or the preschool years.
In general, there are three types of cerebral palsy - spastic, dyskinesia and ataxic. The form of cerebral palsy that a child is diagnosed with is typically based on the type of movement disturbances that they experience. It is common for children to have a mixed form of cerebral palsy. In these cases, children often suffer from the symptoms of two or more forms of the disorder, according to the CDC.
What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?
The signs of cerebral palsy can vary significantly based on a number of factors. Different children, types of the condition and levels of disability can all impact the types of symptoms that a child may suffer from. According to the CDC, some of the most common symptoms of cerebral palsy include the following:
- Delays in reaching movement or motor milestones
- Feeling stiff or floppy
- Difficulty eating or sucking
- Involuntary movements or tremors
- Favoring one side of their bodies over the other
While each child tends to develop at their own speed, there are certain milestones that they typically meet around the same ages. In some cases, not making these developments may be a sign of a more serious issue, such as cerebral palsy.
What causes cerebral palsy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is generally caused by a disruption or abnormality in a child's brain development. This can be due to a number of factors, some of which may be the result of birth injuries or doctor error. Both maternal and infant infections, such as meningitis, have been shown to potentially play a role in causing cerebral palsy. The risk factor may be increased in cases when such conditions go undiagnosed and untreated.
Additionally, fetal stroke, or a disruption of the blood supply to a child's developing brain, may be a contributing factor. It is also believed that a lack of oxygen to infants' brains during labor or delivery may lead to the development of cerebral palsy in some children. It may be considered medical malpractice if medical professionals do not take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of both mother and baby during labor and delivery.
Seeking legal representation
There are many cases when the development of cerebral palsy may not be able to be prevented, or the exact cause identified. In situations, however, when the actions or negligence of health care professionals contributes to causing this condition, the medical professionals may be held liable. Working with a legal representative may help people whose child has developed cerebral palsy understand whether it could have been prevented. An attorney may also be able to explain their options for seeking compensation.
Keywords: birth, injury, malpractice