Types of Birth Injuries that Lead to Cerebral Palsy

Finding out that your child has cerebral palsy after labor is one of the most distressing diagnoses that any parent can receive. These parents are concerned about the future needs of their child and being able to financially cover his or her needs.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

The most obvious symptoms of cerebral palsy are impaired physical movements and motor functions. This is due to some form of injury to the brain. Some of these injuries include infection, meningitis, lack of oxygen and head trauma. Studies show that women who become pregnant under the age of 20 or over the age of 40 are more susceptible to having children afflicted with cerebral palsy. Newborns that are born with either a low birth weight or premature also have a higher risk of developing the condition.

Unfortunately, babies who have been diagnosed with the condition typically have other medical conditions as well. Some of the conditions that children with cerebral palsy may have are seizures, feeding issues and developmental delays.

Cerebral Palsy Caused By Medical Errors

Though cerebral palsy may be caused by a number of things, medical errors or malpractice are the most preventable. Some of the medical errors that lead to cerebral palsy are failure to treat infection, failure to treat meningitis, inability to order a Caesarean section in a timely manner, failure to treat a prolapsed umbilical cord and the incorrect use of the vacuum extractor or forceps during labor.

How to Diagnose and Treat Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not diagnosed immediately after the birth of the child. It usually takes until the age of two or three before a medical practitioner ascertains that a child is afflicted with the condition. Some of the most common signs are joint stiffness, poor head control, delays in motor development and the inability to suck and feed. By looking for these signs and scrutinizing the child’s developmental milestones, the physician can administer further testing to determine without a doubt that the child is afflicted with Cerebral Palsy. The most common tests are an MRI, Electroencephalogram (EEG) and an intelligence test.

Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is a condition that has no cure However there are medical advancements and therapies that have helped to alleviate the condition. The child’s quality of life can benefit from regular check-ups with orthopedists, psychologists, speech therapists and social workers. Improving the life quality of a child afflicted with this condition can be expensive, so if you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy is caused by medical malpractice, it is important to seek legal advice.

Sources:
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/cerebral_palsy.htm