Every year, nearly 10,000 babies born in the US each year exhibit some symptoms of Cerebral Palsy (CP). These are often the result of a birth injury, an injury sustained during delivery that caused the child to experience a severe injury or even a lifelong disability. The question is not whether birth injuries result in cerebral palsy, but rather how many birth injuries result in CP.
Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is the result of either abnormal brain development or brain damage. Cerebral refers to the brain; palsy refers to paralysis or weakness. The most obvious symptoms include a loss of motor skills and muscle control, especially in the limbs. Children with CP often experience learning disabilities, speech impediments, as well as spasms and seizures.
Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking or using their arms. Depending on the severity, people with CP may need years of physical therapy and occupational training before they are able to complete tasks such as brushing their teeth or getting dressed.
Cerebral palsy is a chronic condition, meaning it never goes away. A perfectly healthy child could be changed forever because of an unexpected birth injury. Unfortunately, there’s nothing parents can do to prevent this injury. Victims should never feel shame or guilt if their child suffered a serious injury during birth. At that point, it is the responsibility of the doctor and their staff.
Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injuries
There are many risk factors for cerebral palsy. It could be genetic, a result of premature birth, or an infection. However, 20% of all people with cerebral palsy acquired it from a birth injury. Moreover, 1-in-3 birth injuries result in cerebral palsy. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy affects more children in Georgia than in any other state.
Parents may wonder how this kind of brain injury could happen and whether they did anything wrong. Cerebral palsy from a birth injury is almost always the result of negligent delivery methods, rather than anything to do with the parents. Some of the direct causes include overly forceful pulling, rotating the baby, a delaying C-section, and the use of obstetrical forceps.
Cerebral Palsy Treatment Plans
While it is a permanent condition, there are better treatment options and greater social acceptance for people with cerebral palsy today than at any other point in human history. Specialized equipment, therapy plans, medication, and social programs allow more people with CP to find happiness and independence.
Physical therapy helps children with CP develop movement control and can result in increased flexibility and strength. Successful physical therapy can lead to occupational therapy, which helps children with disabilities establish daily routines.
Likewise, medication can control spasms and seizures, which might otherwise cause the child pain and grief. Finally, specialized equipment, such as motorized wheelchairs can help children establish mobility, especially in an increasingly handicap-accessible world.
Depending on the parent’s income, children with cerebral palsy could be eligible for social security, Medicaid, and many non-profit charity resources. These can make an enormous difference in helping children with CP get the care they need.
Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney
All of these treatment options come with a cost, one that is often too great for families to bear alone, even with government assistance. When negligent delivery methods result in lifelong cerebral palsy, someone should be held accountable. Speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help parents obtain the just compensation they need to get their children the care they deserve.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy because of a birth injury, you might be entitled to just compensation. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.