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.
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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:
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:
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:
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:
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.