Questions about Cerebral Palsy
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that causes a loss of physical control. Serious cases may cause emotional and other cognitive disorders. While many people with cerebral palsy go on to lead productive lives, there are victims who must receive care 24 hours a day or institutionalization.
What causes cerebral palsy?
There are many ways an infant can become a victim of cerebral palsy. The brain may be injured by a toxic level of medication during pregnancy, lack of oxygen, untreated jaundice, seizures, or other fetal distress. It may also be caused by the inappropriate use of forceps, vacuuming, failure to perform a Caesarean section in time, or other fetal distresses including negligent behavior on the part of the doctor or nurse.
How many types of cerebral palsy are there?
There are three primary types of cerebral palsy:
- Ataxic – the muscles are too weak
- Athetoid – the muscles alternate between weakness and tightness
- Spastic – the muscles are too tight
This may affect only one side of the body.
What are the risk factors of cerebral palsy?
The risks for cerebral palsy increase if the mother is older than 40 or younger than 20, the father is younger than 20, or of African American ethnicity. First borns, twins, infants born who weigh less than 3.5 pounds, or are born 37 weeks or less premature are also at risk. Various infections, such as German measles, or an attack by micro-organisms can increase the chances of cerebral palsy.
What sorts of physical and mental challenges may a victim of cerebral palsy have?
Common problems include:
- Learning disabilities
- Impaired speech, vision, or hearing
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty eating
Sadly, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. For parents and other family members, the birth of a child with cerebral palsy will increase economic costs that were not planned for. It can also be emotionally devastating for anyone involved.
If you suspect your child’s cerebral palsy is due to negligence on the part of health care professionals, and are in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Duncan Firm for a free initial case consultation.
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