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Cerebral Palsy Injury Law
Cerebral Palsy: Conditions & Common Causes
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a broad term that covers a group of chronic medical conditions which impair muscular functions. Signs usually appear in the first few years of life. Among the most common are: lack of alertness, problems feeding or swallowing, low muscle tone, seizures or twitching, and motor developmental delays, such as rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking. CP is not contagious and does not get better or worse with age.
People with CP may experience a number of conditions. These include muscle tightness, involuntary movement, difficulty in balancing and problems with muscular control. Medical disorders associated with CP also include: mental impairment, seizures, growth problems, depressions, drooling, hearing or vision impairment, and abnormal sensation and perception.
Causes of CP
CP is caused by a brain’s failure to develop properly or by damage on a child’s developing brain. The disorder can be sustained during pregnancy (congenital cerebral palsy), during the birth process, or any time after birth during the first couple of years..
Congenital Cerebral Palsy is present at birth and may not be detected initially. This is the most common type of cerebral palsy and in most cases the cause is unknown. Some factors that may lead to congenital cerebral palsy include infections of the mother that spreads to the baby’s nervous system, Rh incompatibility, and the inability of the placenta to provide oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus.
During the birthing process a severe oxygen shortage in the brain or trauma to the head of the newborn child during labor and delivery and severe jaundice can result in CP.
About 10% of CP cases in the United States are acquired after birth. This occurs from brain damage sustained from a head injury (from a car accident, a fall, or child abuse) or brain infection such as bacterial meningitis.
A cerebral palsy diagnosis does not mean someone is at fault. In some cases CP may be prevented, but not in others. A doctor is only liable when his/her negligence causes CP. Negligence occurs when a doctor’s action or failure to act grossly deviates from the proper standard of care required by law. For example, this may stem from a failure to timely diagnose, fetal distress during labor, misreading the fetal monitoring equipment, waiting too long to perform a C section, and mistreating severe jaundice.
Because this field is highly technical and the damages can be high, it is almost inevitable that you will have to seek the services of a qualified medical malpractice lawyer. An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer can be consulted about the causes of the child’s condition and possible birth injury. For a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation, fill out our free case evaluation form.
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