Help for Alabama Families Affected By Cerebral Palsy
One very serious and common type of birth injury is cerebral palsy. This is a muscle and movement disorder that affects many children in Alabama and across the United States. In most cases, there is damage to the parts of the brain that control balance, movement and posture. The damage is permanent, but treatment and therapy can help children with CP lead healthy and happy lives.
Damage to a child's brain can occur during pregnancy, labor or delivery, or shortly after birth. The damage that leads to cerebral palsy may be caused by:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Meningitis (an infection in the membranes surrounding the brain)
- Jaundice that isn't treated
- Low blood sugar that isn't treated
- Traumatic injuries during the birthing process
Proper medical care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and after birth can help prevent brain damage from occurring. There are also steps that medical professionals can take to reduce the extent of any brain damage. If done quickly, these can help reduce the severity of cerebral palsy symptoms.
Types and symptoms
There are several different types of cerebral palsy, such as spastic, dyskinetic, hypotonic, ataxic and mixed. Some cases are more severe than others. For example, some children may only suffer cerebral palsy symptoms on one side of their bodies. Others may have trouble with both arms and both legs.
There are many different symptoms of cerebral palsy, but generally they all include difficulty with muscle control and movement. As a child grows and develops, these symptoms can change. Children with cerebral palsy may have:
- Poor muscle tone
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty with walking
- Involuntary movements
- Difficulty with reflexes
- Coordination problems
- Speech difficulties
- Problems swallowing
- Problems with posture
Children who have cerebral palsy may also experience other problems. These can include seizures, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, communication disorders, depression, anxiety and learning disabilities.
Your child's future is a top concern
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms so that children with cerebral palsy can live the best lives possible. This treatment may include medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Some children may need walkers, canes, braces or other devices to assist movement. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
Treatment for cerebral palsy is usually needed over a child's entire life, and the cost can be enormous. In some cases, it can total tens of millions of dollars. The cost of treatment can quickly become overwhelming for families in Alabama.
But if medical negligence led to your child developing cerebral palsy, you should not have to pay. Medical providers are aware of the potential complications associated with pregnancy, and are expected to follow standards of care at all times. If these standards were not met, and your child suffered brain damage as a result, they can be held accountable.
It's important to talk to an Alabama birth injury attorney about your rights. You may be able to seek financial compensation for the care of your child. Use Help For Your Baby's free consultation service to schedule an appointment with an attorney who can help.