Cerebral palsy is one of the most common disorders in the United States, affecting around 500,000 people. It is also a very complicated disorder with a number of different types and symptoms. Although it is a common disorder, no one knows for sure how exactly an infant develops cerebral palsy. Research shows that it occurs either during birth or shortly after a brain malformation or injury. Many doctors and scientists believe an infant inflicted with cerebral palsy is probably the result of an infection that hinders the brain’s growth or development.
Risk Factors Involved with Cerebral Palsy
There are a few risk factors that can lead to this condition. These risks include:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Being dropped
- Being pulled out of the birth canal with excessive force
- Damage from tools like forceps or vacuum extractors
- Labor that lasts more than 18 hours
Cerebral Palsy Causes
Although cerebral palsy develops due to a brain malformation or injury before, during, or shortly after birth, there is still a lot of mystery as to how, exactly, an infant develops it. Some doctors and scientists believe that an infant gets cerebral palsy from a maternal infection before the delivery. This could be any kind of infection that could disturb normal growth and development of the brain. Other doctors and scientists believe that brain injuries sustained as an infant can turn into cerebral palsy. This could be directly related to medical malpractice as it’s during birth or just after birth that these infants generally have a brain injury.
When a baby is deprived of oxygen for too long, dropped, pulled out forceful or had a forceps injury, Cerebral palsy can occur. These birth-related malpractice injuries can be enough to cause a brain damage which in turn could become Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the clinical signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Muscle Tone: A person with cerebral palsy has lack of muscle control and makes simply tasks difficult such as walking, sitting or even grasping objects.
- Reflexes: Cerebral Palsy causes abnormal reflex responses. These include palmer grasp reflex, spinal gallant reflexes and Moro reflexes.
- Coordination and Control: Both coordination and control is limited and common issues include spastic movements, walking with a wide gait, walking with toes pointed inward or outward, dragging one leg while walking, and waddling when walking.
- Oral Motor Problems: Communication is difficult because of the spastic movements of face muscles. This also can affect breathing, eating, closing the mouth, and swallowing.
Costs Associated with Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are often lifelong complications that require consistent medical treatment and rehabilitation. Depending upon the severity of the injuries, the financial costs associated with birth injuries can range from several thousands to over a million during the lifespan of a child with birth injuries.
For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime costs associated with a child who has cerebral palsy (CP) is around $1 million. The costs associated with a child who suffers hearing loss after a birth injury typically ranges around $400,00.
It is important to remember that if your child’s birth injuries are a result of medical negligence and carelessness, the medical staff, hospital, and/or physician may be liable for damages. A complex litigation attorney can help. At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured people get justice and full compensation for injuries caused negligence. The Michel Brady Lynch Firm regularly takes on the largest corporations in the world with a track records of proven success and results. Contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm today, and our attorneys will review your case for free and help you protect your rights. For your complimentary consultation, call our office now.