Cerebral Palsy May Be a Preventable Birth Condition
Cerebral Palsy is a Serious Birth Defect, and May Be Preventable
Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture caused by damage that occurs to an immature, developing brain, before, during or soon after birth. Estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network show about 1 in 323 children are affected by Cerebral Palsy.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the leading cause of childhood disabilities, but it doesn’t always cause profound disabilities. While one child with severe CP might need extensive, lifelong care, another child with mild CP might be only slightly awkward and require no special assistance. Some people show intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities. The disorder isn’t progressive; however, as a child gets older, certain symptoms may become more evident.
Joe Lyon is a highly rated Ohio personal injury attorney. Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of preventable birth defect claims.
Potential Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormalities or disruptions in brain development, before or soon after a child is born. Factors that may lead to problems with brain development include:
• Mutations in genes
• Maternal infections that affect a developing fetus
• Fetal stroke: a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain
• Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
• Traumatic head injury to an infant during or soon after birth
• Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to a complicated labor or delivery
Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy
A number of factors are associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy. Some factors are genetic, though others are preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading preventable risk factors are disruption of the oxygen supply during birth (birth hypoxia), which may account for up to 10 percent of CP cases, and infection among mothers.
Infection of the placental membranes (chorioamnionitis) is associated with an increased risk of CP for children born full-term. Chorioamnionitis has been found to account for 12 percent of CP cases among children born full-term and 28 percent of CP cases among children born prematurely.
Certain maternal infections can significantly increase cerebral palsy risk to the baby, including the following:
• German measles (rubella)
• Chickenpox (varicella)
• Zika Virus
Other high risk factors include the following:
• Infant illness—bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis, untreated jaundice
• Complicated births—breech births, low birth weight, premature births
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Signs and symptoms of CP can vary greatly, and generally appear during infancy or preschool years. The disability associated with cerebral palsy may affect one limb or one side of the body, or the whole body. The brain disorder causing cerebral palsy doesn’t change with time, so the symptoms usually don’t worsen with age.
Movement and coordination problems associated with cerebral palsy may include:
• Variations in muscle tone
• Stiff muscles
• Exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
• Lack of muscle coordination
• Involuntary movements
• Delays in reaching motor skill milestones
• Favoring one side of the body
• Difficulty walking
• Excessive drooling—problems with swallowing
• Difficulty eating
• Delays in speech development
Brain abnormalities associated with cerebral palsy also may contribute to other neurological problems, including the following:
• Difficulty with hearing and vision
• Intellectual disabilities
• Abnormal touch or pain perceptions
• Mental health conditions
• Urinary incontinence
Complications of Cerebral Palsy
Muscle weakness and coordination problems can contribute to a number of complications either during childhood or later in life. Developing health issues may include the following:
• Eye muscle imbalance—may affect visual fixation and tracking.
• Lung disease and breathing disorders
• Neurological conditions—people with cerebral palsy are likely to develop movement disorders or worsened neurological symptoms over time.
• Osteoarthritis—muscle spasticity may lead to the early onset of painful degenerative bone diseases
• Mental health conditions—the challenges of coping with disabilities may contribute to depression.
If your child was born with Cerebral Palsy, suspect medical malpractice, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.
After two hip replacement surgeries, I was informed that one of the prosthesis was the DuPuy Joint and the other was very similar but manufactured by a different company. After several attempts to contact the manufacturer directly to discuss the claim, I was met with bureaucratic red tape that appeared to be insurmountable. I then turned to Joe Lyon of the Lyon Law Firm who immediately cut through the pro I highly recommend Joe if you are faced with the need for this type of litigation.Tim Ross
I met Joe during what was easily one of the worst times of my life. My husband had been in a serious accident and was a quadriplegic following that accident and remained in one medical facility after another until his death nearly four years later. We had contacted an area attorney who told us we absolutely did not have a case. Then we called a Cleveland firm that took the case and brought in Joe. Joe did so much of the work and became just like family to us. I would highly recommend Joe to anyone and be willing to guarantee that he will do anything and everything possible to get satisfactory results. He is extremely dedicated to his clients and very hard working. Mike and I came to think of him like a son, I still do; if it wasn’t for him I don’t believe our case would have been settled the way it was and may have ended up in a courtroom where the results can go any way.Donna Urchak