FAQs About Cerebral Palsy
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Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that cerebral palsy affects about 10,000 American newborns annually. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy can't be cured. This leaves people born with the condition suffering a lifetime of coordination problems, muscle paralysis, developmental delays, and other health issues. Below are some common questions we hear from clients regarding cerebral palsy.
A: Cerebral palsy isn't a disease. It's a group of conditions caused by injuries to a developing brain. Cerebral palsy can be caused by injuries that happened during birth, like the improper use of forceps or other birthing instruments, problems with vacuum-assisted delivery, and lack of oxygen to the infant's brain. Cerebral palsy injuries will affect the way a child's muscles work. Many people suffering from cerebral palsy need mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers, as well as physical therapy to help them complete daily activities.
A: Birth injuries like cerebral palsy often happen because of negligent actions by a doctor, nurse, midwife, or other health care professional. When one of these health care professionals fails to treat the conditions and complications of a pregnancy or delivery, children get hurt. Here are the most common causes of cerebral palsy injuries:
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Improper epidural
- Use of too much force during delivery
- Delay in performing a Cesarean section
- Improper fetal monitoring
- Failure to notice troubling vital signs
- Failing to consult with specialists in high-risk pregnancy
A: Yes. There are four different classifications of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: this palsy affects the legs. Spastic cerebral palsy sufferers are born with their legs bent inward, making walking difficult. People with spastic cerebral palsy might suffer paralysis.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: this palsy affects the hands, feet, and arms. People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy will have trouble control muscle movements in these body parts. They will have problems sitting or being still for long periods of time.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: this palsy affects balance. People suffering ataxic cerebral palsy will have problems walking or engaging in physical activities.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: this palsy is a combination of any of the above types of palsy. People suffering mixed cerebral palsy may show any of the symptoms of the other three types of palsy.
A: The National Institutes of Health reports these specific signs of cerebral palsy:
- Babies Under 6 Months Old: their body feels stiff, there head doesn't seem completely supported by the neck, and they push away from being held.
- Babies Over 6 Months Old: will keep their hands in fists for most of the time, they're unable to roll over, and they have difficulty bringing their hands to their mouth.
- Babies Over 10 Months Old: do not crawl straight and will have problems using their legs to crawl.
A: The one bright side of cerebral palsy is that it doesn't get worse with age. Cerebral palsy usually stabilizes quickly. Issues related to cerebral palsy may be debilitating, but they present themselves early and remain the same.
A: The Atlanta cerebral palsy attorneys at Grant Law Office can help you investigate the details of your pregnancy and labor to build a strong cerebral palsy case. Let us assist you in holding the negligent medical professionals responsible for your child's injuries responsible. Contact us today at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955.