The prospect of bringing home a baby is an exciting one. It’s natural for parents to worry about the health of a baby throughout pregnancy and delivery. More often than not, parents welcome home a happy, healthy new family member. In some cases, however, labor can result in a serious condition called cerebral palsy. If your baby was recently diagnosed with this condition, do you have legal grounds for a birth injury claim? Learn about your legal options and next steps.
Cerebral palsy is defined as a neurological disorder that may result from brain injury or malformation during pregnancy. It has several effects on a developing infant – it compromises both body movement and coordination, and it may also affect reflexes, tone, balance, and posture. A child diagnosed with cerebral palsy may struggle to meet fine and gross motor milestones. Improper oral motor functioning may lead to speech, chewing, and swallowing difficulty.
CP does not affect everyone equally, and cases range from mild to severe. In general, you may notice some of the following symptoms in your child:
CP is the result of a disruption in normal brain development. It often occurs before birth and the child may have genetic predisposition for it, but other risk factors include:
The prevailing theory used to be that CP was a side effect of birthing complications, but we now think this accounts for only 10% of cases.
Risk factors for CP can be genetic, but they can also be environmental. Examples of environmental risk factors might include accidents, abuse, or medical malpractice.
A child with CP often shows signs of physical impairment, but the extent of this impairment varies widely from one person to another. CP affects the way a person controls their muscles, but some individuals will contract them too much while others contract them too little. In other cases, frequent muscle contractions will cause tremors that affect balance, coordination, and posture. Seizures, co-occurring intellectual disability, and hearing and vision problems are also possible. Even in mild cases, CP often affects a child’s quality of life and ability to function like their typically developing peers.
If your child has been recently diagnosed with CP, you may be feeling uncertainty and fear about the future. These children often require extensive speech, occupational, and physical therapy to achieve their optimum quality of life. If your child’s condition was the result of health provider negligence or malpractice, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical and rehabilitation bills.
Your birth injury claim begins with a free initial consultation. Contact us today to get started.