Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect brain function, leading to difficulties in movement, posture, and balance. The term “cerebral” refers to the brain, while “palsy” signifies muscular problems or weaknesses. It is typically caused by damage to the developing brain of a child, which impacts muscle control. Cerebral Palsy is commonly diagnosed within the first or second year after birth, although earlier diagnoses are possible.
Prevalence of Cerebral Palsy
There are different types of Cerebral Palsy, characterized by the specific area of the brain affected and the child’s abnormal movements. In the United States, the incidence of Cerebral Palsy is approximately 2.5 per 1,000 live births, with prematurity being the leading cause.
If a fetus experiences oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) before delivery, there is an increased risk of developing Cerebral Palsy. Since Cerebral Palsy has significant lifelong consequences, a thorough analysis of medical records by experienced lawyers and experts is necessary to determine if preventable hypoxia led to the condition. Unfortunately, in some cases, medical records may reveal significant issues related to fetal heart rate that should have prompted earlier and faster delivery. If your child has Cerebral Palsy that could have been prevented with proper medical attention, you may have a case of medical negligence.
Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy
A diagnosis is typically made when there is sufficient evidence of movement or developmental disorders, both of which are common symptoms of Cerebral Palsy. The severity of the condition can affect the child’s cognitive abilities, need for durable medical equipment and skilled care, independence, and employability. The degree of Cerebral Palsy will determine the child’s future medical requirements and associated costs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends assessing the full range of symptoms associated with a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis by the age of two.
If you experienced complications during labor and delivery, and your child requires admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), your child may need lifelong medical care. It is important to have your child evaluated by a pediatric neurologist to plan the most suitable course of action and care. You don’t have to go through this emotionally traumatic process alone, as medical negligence may be the cause of your child’s Cerebral Palsy. If you suspect medical negligence led to your child’s condition, contact ACTS Law for a free consultation with our medical negligence lawyers, who are here to assist you.
Contact Bruce Brusavich and Eduardo J. Ascencio if you believe you have been a victim of cerebral palsy or medical malpractice. With nearly 70 years of combined experience, our dedicated team of lawyers is committed to helping you seek the justice and assistance you deserve.