Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a brain injury that has occurred while a child’s brain is still developing. This can occur before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. Risk factors that may lead to Cerebral Palsy include accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, infections or injury. If you are in the Baltimore area and a doctor has diagnosed your child with Cerebral Palsy, please call Murphy, Falcon & Murphy to set up a medical record review.
Cerebral palsy symptoms arise in infancy or early childhood. Parents typically notice the symptoms of this issue first. Symptoms may include stiff muscles, lack of muscle coordination, difficulties swallowing, delays in reaching milestones, or problems with fine motor skills. As the child grows older, there may be other symptoms that become evident, a few of which include:
The severity of symptoms will vary from child to child. Depending on which part of the brain experienced damage, the child can develop different symptoms. Sometimes the child may have intellectual or learning disabilities, and other times there may be only physical symptoms. Cerebral Palsy is not a life-threatening or progressive disordering, which means that the symptoms will remain steady throughout the child’s life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the rate of Cerebral Palsy in the United States to be around 1 in 323 children. A pediatrician diagnoses Cerebral Palsy after running a series of screenings and evaluations. This will include monitoring growth, developmental screenings, and neurological tests.
Congenital Cerebral Palsy occurs during pregnancy or delivery. There are a few risk factors that may increase the chances of the congenital disorder, including premature birth, multiple births, infections during pregnancy, and blood type incompatibility. It is also possible for an infant to obtain a brain injury that results in Cerebral Palsy during birth. These instances can include caesarean section trauma or forceps injury.
People can get acquired Cerebral Palsy due to head injury, which occurs sometime after birth. Proper safety measures in place, such as car seats or fall prevention method, can usually prevent this type of Cerebral Palsy.
There is currently no cure for Cerebral Palsy. Treatment for the disorder should begin as early as possible to ensure the best outcome for your child. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies are common from a young age. Oral medications are also an option to help treat muscle conditions such as stiffness or contractions. Pediatricians will work with parents to determine the best treatment plan, which may include a variety of different methods.
It is important to note the Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong condition that will require long-term treatments. Adults who suffer from Cerebral Palsy often require frequent physician and therapy visits for various medical conditions. A lifetime of medical treatment can be draining on a family’s financial resources.
Determining what caused your child’s Cerebral palsy requires a team of professionals, to include an experienced birth injury lawyer and specially trained physician. The process will begin with a thorough review of your child’s medical records. Our team will then work to determine when the brain injury occurred and determine if a physician or hospital was negligent in their actions.
The disorder may or may not have been the result of medical negligence, but until you have your child’s medical records reviewed, you can’t be sure. If litigation is necessary, we will provide your family with a skilled birth injury lawyer. Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has helped other Baltimore area residents achieve multi-million-dollar results, through either settlements or trials. We will be an advocate for you and your child every step of the way.