The medical condition Cerebral Palsy is a term that envelopes a relatively large number of symptoms and issues. Generally speaking, cerebral palsy is a disease caused by damage to the individual's brain that can lead to muscle spasticity, involuntary movement, difficulty performing motor tasks, trouble speaking, trouble walking or maintaining one's balance.
There are three types of cerebral palsy:
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: This is the least common form of Cerebral Palsy, affecting 5-10% of the individuals' diagnosed. This form of CP involves poor sense of balance and depth perception. The individual will often walk with a wide gait, have poor coordination and have difficulty performing precise movements or common day tasks.
Athethoid Cerebral Palsy: This is form of Cerebral Palsy, affects 10-20% of those diagnosed. This form or type of cerebral palsy involves abnormally slow movements of the hands, feet, arms or legs. Additionally, facial muscles are affected. This will can causing drooling, frowning expressions and difficulty speaking. These symptoms may increase under stress.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is the most common type of CP, affecting 70-80% of those diagnosed. This form involves mild to severe muscle stiffness and permanent muscle contraction.
Most of the individuals diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy are diagnosed before 3 years of age. And a common indicator of cerebral palsy is slowed or late achievement of normal developmental tasks, such as learning to roll over, sitting up without help, crawling, and walking. Your doctor should perform developmental skills assessments to test the child for cerebral palsy. The monitoring and/or checking reflexes, muscle control, and ability to complete motor tasks can help determine if a child has cerebral palsy. Current research shows 2 to 3 out of 1,000 children over the age of 3 have cerebral palsy. In total, there are well over 5,000 children and adults living with cerebral palsy in the U.S. today.
Cerebral Palsy is most often a result of an injury or damage to the infant's brain during pregnancy or delivery. This damage can be a result of infection, lack of oxygen, blood diseases or incompatibility, or premature delivery. The cause of CP cannot always be determined, therefore making prevention of the disease difficult. There are, however, certain tests that can be performed by a doctor to lower the risk to an unborn child.
For example, a test for rubella immunity can lead to vaccination for women who are not immune. By receiving proper medical care during the term of pregnancy, a woman can greatly reduce the chances of CP for her child. Cerebral palsy is a disease that presently cannot be cured. While proper therapy and management may help the affected individual to live a near-normal life, a cerebral palsy victim must live with the effects for life.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, medical malpractice, neglect or negligence may be to blame. By failing to perform necessary tests to prevent and check for this disease, the doctor may have put your baby or your child at risk for developing cerebral palsy.
IF YOUR CHILD OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS SUFFERED A BIRTH INJURY, CONTACT OUR LAW FIRM FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION. CALL US TOLL FREE 800-862-1260