Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to a child’s brain while in the womb, during delivery, or in the brain’s developmental years after birth. Approximately 70 percent of children with CP suffer the condition while their mother is pregnant, another 20 percent develop cerebral palsy during birth, and about 10 percent of acquired cerebral palsy cases happen after delivery.
It is important to understand CP is an acquired condition, caused by trauma to the brain during its development and/or growth. The underlying cause of the brain damage varies depending on the circumstances of the child’s injury but there are several common ways the trauma can occur.
- Lack of oxygen during delivery
- Bacterial infection
- Brain hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Physical trauma to the child’s head or brain
- Congenital malformations
- Birth injury medical malpractice
Cerebral Palsy caused by medical malpractice
Unfortunately for some parents, their child’s CP could have been prevented if the doctors and nurses delivering the child had followed proper procedure. All too often, children develop CP because of medical malpractice on the part of the hospital or its staff.
When birth injuries occur because doctors and nurses deviate from the standard of care they are legally required to follow, parents have the legal right to seek financial compensation to help provide for their child’s needs. Most of the time, parents need a cerebral palsy lawyer to help sort out the legalities and compel hospitals and their insurance companies to take responsibility for their careless actions.
Recognizing the signs of CP
While cerebral palsy should be properly diagnosed by an experienced physician, there are certain signs and symptoms parents should be aware of as their child grows up. When these signs and symptoms present themselves and developmental milestones are not met, parents should strongly consider CP as a source of the issue.
Common signs of cerebral palsy include:
- Stiff muscles
- Paralysis on one side of the body or with one body part
- Digestive problems
- Issues with swallowing, sucking, or drooling
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
- Shaking or jerking movements
The symptoms a child may present varies depending on the type of cerebral palsy and the factors which contributed to its infliction. Accompanying disorders which may indicate a child suffers from CP are conditions like:
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Communication difficulties
- Speech, vision, or hearing problems
- Behavior or psychiatric conditions