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5 Things To Know About Cerebral Palsy

Posted in Birth Injury on August 28, 2019

Most cases of cerebral palsy develop due to damage that occurred before or during birth, but some infants can even develop the condition within the first month after their birth. Before a child is born, there isn’t a test that can determine whether or not a baby has cerebral palsy.

If you have a newborn baby, there are countless things to worry about, and we sincerely hope that cerebral palsy isn’t one of them. However, we have worked with dozens of families and know the very real possibility of this happening. Get in touch with our birth injury lawyers if you have any questions or want to discuss a potential case. Here are a few things every parent should know about cerebral palsy.

What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
Caused by brain damage that typically happens during delivery, CP affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills. There are three types of CP:
Spastic CP: Movement is difficult and muscles may feel stiff
Dyskinetic (athetoid) CP: Movements are uncontrolled
Ataxic CP: There are issues with balance and depth perception

Most CP is Related to Brain Damage During Birth
Known as congenital CP, a majority of cases occur when there are complications during the pregnancy or during delivery. There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing congenital CP:

  • When a baby is born too small
  • The baby is born too early
  • Twins or other multiple births
  • When a baby is conceived using in vitro fertilization
  • When the mother had an infection during her pregnancy
  • When an infant has a serious case of jaundice that results in brain damage known as kernicterus

How is CP Diagnosed?
Infants and growing babies have certain developmental stages that they progress through. When an infant is not reaching for toys by four months or isn’t sitting up by themselves by seven months, these are early signs of CP. Parents should also look out for motor delays, such as the baby being unable to crawl, walk, or move their arms or legs in a usual way. An infant’s muscle tone may be too tight or too loose. And an infant may have trouble grasping.

Other Effects of CP
The severity of other issues that stem from CP can range depending on how much damage the brain sustained. When the brain is only partially damaged, it may only affect how a child walks and moves. If a larger portion of the brain is damaged, it can have a greater effect on movement as well as talking and learning. There are a variety of other issues that CP can lead to:

  • Problems with vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Speech problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Osteoporosis

Talk With a Birth Injury Lawyer

Because many CP cases occur due to injuries during birth, there may be enough evidence to warrant a medical malpractice case. The team of injury lawyers at Murphy Falcon & Murphy understands that this can be an emotional journey, but we can guarantee you that we will be there throughout the process. Our firm has years of experience with these types of cases and we will do our best to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free consultation.