Cerebral Palsy Attorney
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Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Cerebral Palsy, also referred to as “CP,” is a group of disorders in movement, posture, cognition, communication, behavior and seizures. The causes of Cerebral Palsy are multi-factorial; genetic, environmental, infection, growth defects during fetal development and birth asphyxia or lack of oxygen upon birth.
Cerebral Palsy is a leading cause of childhood disability with 30-50% of patients having mental retardation and 15-60% with epilepsy. Cerebral Palsy results in lifelong disability causing financial and emotional strain on members of the family. Approximately for every 1000 live births, 2-3 infants will have Cerebral Palsy.
When Cerebral Palsy is a result of a birth injury, it is from a lack of oxygen being delivered to the brain. The result is the most common type of CP, spastic hemi or quadriplegia. Patients can experience muscle contractures, tremors, seizures, behavioral problems, and mental retardation.
The complications of Cerebral Palsy are vast and require a multi-disciplinary approach for treating the child. The expense and time required to visit the medical specialists can be debilitating to a family.
Below are common complications of Cerebral Palsy:
1. Skin-ulcers and breakdown
2. Orthopedics-surgery for the contractures, bracing, hip dislocations, scoliosis
3. Nutritional support-importance of maintenance of ideal body weight, poor oral/mouth control preventing proper food intake and a high risk of aspiration pneumonia, obesity, GERD, constipation
4. Dental-CP patients are prone to cavities and other dental problems
5. Lung-aspiration pneumonia, asthma, bronchiolitis
6. Neurology-epilepsy, hearing loss, visual problems
7. Cognitive and behavioral-ADHD, learning disabilities, depression, autism
This list is not all inclusive because the child may require special equipment like braces and wheelchairs.
Cerebral Palsy is usually diagnosed after one year of age due to the difficulty of the diagnosis. Many other diseases mimic Cerebral Palsy and in some cases the child may be a slow developer and outgrow the disabilities. Screening guidelines for Cerebral Palsy include monitoring the child’s developmental milestones, reflexes that disappear with age, vision and hearing tests, metabolic defects and other congenital malformations, epilepsy. By 1 year of age, a child should be walking. A Cerebral Palsy child will have no muscle tone, asymmetric growth between limbs or the muscles may be spastic.
Treatment of Cerebral Palsy is as complicated as the varied symptoms that a child may have. Care of a Cerebral Palsy child can be coordinated with a Physiatrist or Neurologist who will work with orthopedists, nutritionists, etc.
When Cerebral Palsy is a result of medical negligence during the birth process, the infant experiences asphyxiation where the brain is deprived of oxygen and the result can be spastic or quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.