Cerebral palsy is caused by brain injury to a baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or shortly after birth. It affects muscle control and can cause learning disabilities. Long-term effects of cerebral palsy can range from mild to very severe, and most children with the condition will require life-long care. Some problems associated with cerebral palsy include:
- Impaired speech
- Difficulty eating
- Difficulty walking
- Learning disabilities
Many factors and events can cause the brain injuries which result in cerebral palsy. Most of these can be prevented or caught early when doctors properly monitor mothers and babies and take the necessary action. Some possible causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Lack of oxygen
- Bleeding in the brain
- Severe jaundice
- Infection in mother or baby during pregnancy
- Rh incompatibility
- Toxicity from inappropriate medications during pregnancy
- Kidney and urinary tract infections in the mother
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy makes the muscles too tight, causing stiff and jerky movements. It is the most common form, affecting about half of people with cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy can affect different parts of the body, and falls into five categories based on the area of the body that is affected:
- Quadriplegia – both arms and both legs
- Diplegia – both arms or both legs
- Hemiplegia – the arm and leg on one side of the body
- Monoplegia – only one arm or one leg
- Triplegia – both arms and one leg or both legs and one arm
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
This is the opposite of the spastic form. It makes the muscles weak. People with Ataxic cerebral palsy often have difficulty walking and maintaining balance.
Athetoid cerebral palsy causes the muscles to alternate between being too tight and too weak. This can cause involuntary movements, mainly in the face and arms, and makes it difficult to stay upright.
Cerebral palsy cannot be cured, but there are many forms of treatment that can improve the condition. Physical and behavioral therapy employed, sometimes in conjunction with drugs to prevent seizures and spasticity, and sometimes surgery.
Parents of children with cerebral palsy face a lifetime of emotional and financial hardship. The expense of medical bills, therapy, special equipment, and special education are often compounded by loss of income from one or both parents who must stay at home to care for the child. Cerebral palsy is almost always preventable when doctors use proper care during and immediately after pregnancy. If your child has cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can help to offset the expenses and ensure that you can provide the best possible care for your child.
If you or a loved one has a child with cerebral palsy, contact an experienced cerebral palsy attorney today, such as Jacoby and Meyers in Los Angeles, California.