Cerebral palsy is a common type of birth injury that affects muscle movement, coordination and, in some cases, vision, hearing, and sensation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition affects about 1.5 out to 5 out of every 1,000 children worldwide. This condition can vary from person to person, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the area that was affected and the seriousness of the injury. It is also possible for this condition to worsen over time. There are several different types of treatment for cerebral palsy, but there is no cure for it.
CAUSES OF CEREBRAL PALSY
It is possible for abnormal brain development to result in cerebral palsy though, more often than not, it is a result of injury to the developing brain during the delivery process. Some of the causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery
- Intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding into the brain caused by improper use of delivery assistance tools
Additionally, there are some risk factors that can increase a baby’s chance of developing cerebral palsy:
- Premature birth
- Breech birth, which occurs when a baby’s buttocks or feet come out first
- Low birth weight
- Maternal exposure to toxic substances
DIAGNOSING CEREBRAL PALSY
To properly diagnose cerebral palsy, a doctor will need a child’s complete medical history. A full neurological examination will need to be performed as well. Other tests that will need to be performed include: a electroencephalogram (EEG), a CT scan, an MRI, a cranial ultrasound, and a blood sample. If your child’s doctor is able to confirm that he or she has cerebral palsy, you might be referred to a specialist who will test for neurological problems that are associated with this disorder.
TREATING CEREBRAL PALSY
Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are several treatments available that can help limit and even prevent serious complications. Treatment can possibly include assistive aids, medication, and surgery. Medications that are commonly used to treat cerebral palsy include:
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Dantrolene (Dantrium)
- Tizanidine (Zanaflex)
Your child’s doctor might recommend local injections of botulinum toxin type A or intrathecal baclofen therapy as well.
THE LONG-TERM OUTLOOK
Cerebral palsy can be treated and managed rather effectively, though the specific type of treatment that works best will vary from person to person. In some cases, not much assistance is necessary and, in others, extensive, long-term care might be required to help manage their symptoms.
If you suspect that your child developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence, it is imperative that you seek skilled legal assistance to ensure you are able to obtain the fair and just compensation you need to pay for your child’s medical expenses and any treatments, assistive devices, and medications he or she might need throughout the years.
EXPERIENCED BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEYS IN TULSA
If your baby developed cerebral palsy that was caused by a medical professional’s negligent or careless actions, you should not hesitate to retain skilled legal counsel to ensure the responsible party is held liable. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC in Tulsa, our knowledgeable team of birth injury attorneys is dedicated to fighting on behalf of those who have been wrongfully injured and will do what is necessary to ensure your family is not burdened with the costs of someone else’s negligence.
Backed by over 100 years of collective legal experience, you can trust in our ability to provide the effective representation you need during this difficult time.