Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
What is Cerebral Palsy?
The often times avoidable injury of Cerebral Palsy, usually caused by a lesion in the cerebrum, results in an individual requiring virtually endless care, requiring round-the-clock attention, and treatment, from birth throughout the span of their life.
Cerebral Palsy is a general term for a family of disorders that are akin to each other in that they all involve a non-progressive motor condition, which manifests in disability in different parts of the body. For example, Cerebral Palsy includes different forms of the disorder, such as spastic hemiplegia (where one side of the patient's body is hypertonic, or rigid tense-like muscles).
Despite its different forms, however, all manifestations of Cerebral Palsy result from injury to the cerebrum of the patient, either prenatally (during gestation), during birth (in the labor and delivery process), or as a neonate (shortly after birth. Sadly, although there are some treatments for individuals suffering from the effects of Cerebral Palsy, it is an incurable disorder; and, all treatment is geared toward good disorder-management and palliative (to reduce the severity of the symptoms of the disorder) care goals.
While treatment is bound by the goals of managing the disorder and obviating its complications, that treatment can become extremely expensive. And, what is most startling is that, despite the fact that injuries causing the disorder can in some cases be avoided (through sound medical practices), the cost of caring for and managing the disorders of those with Cerebral Palsy is borne by those who had no fault in causing the birth injury.
How does Cerebral Palsy Occur?
The causes of Cerebral Palsy are, due to its umbrella-like encompassing reference, as different as its manifestations (in general form, spastic v. hypotonic; in area of manifestation, hemiplegia v. diplegia v. monoplegia, triplegia, or even quadriplegia); however, the timing of the causes of Cerebral Palsy are limited. Because the lesions that cause Cerebral Palsy must have been suffered by the victim while their cerebrum was developing, studies have shown that the injury causing a victim to suffer from Cerebral Palsy, in most instances, was suffered before the age of three (3) years old.
Generally, the injuries causing lesions in the brains of Cerebral Palsy victims happened during gestation (while in their mother's womb); during labor and deliver (while being born); or, during the Cerebral Palsy victim's care in neonatology (shortly after birth). In all instances, however, the lesions are often the result of anoxic events (i.e., events in which the victim, who later develops Cerebral Palsy, was deprived of oxygen). That anoxic event, and the deprivation of oxygen in the bloodstream, and its flow into the brain, often causes ischemia (necrotizing, or death, of cells, due to lack of oxygen). It is the ischemic event, and the necrotic tissue left behind that, in many cases, forms the lesions that manifest as Cerebral Palsy.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
Due to Cerebral Palsy being a general term, referring to myriad non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions, which manifest chiefly in physical disability during human development, its signs and symptoms are usually specified based upon the area of the body in which they manifest, and the form in which they take:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy marked by hypertonia, or tense skeletal muscles:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy can be broken into different subsets, based upon where the disability manifests:
- spastic diplegia: hypertonia exclusively affecting the legs;
- spastic hemiplegia: hypertonia affecting one side of the body;
- spastic monoplegia: hypertonia exclusively affecting one limb;
- spastic triplegia: hypertonia affecting three (3) limbs; and,
- spastic quadriplegia: hypertonia affecting all four (4) limbs.
Cerebral Palsy also manifests in a hypotonic form (hypotonic being the opposite of hypertonic, and marked by paralytic, as opposed to spastic manifestation); and, can manifest in an athetoid, or dyskinetic form, having features of both hyper and hypotonia.
- Cerebral Palsy is generally characterized by:
- abnormal muscle tone;
- abnormal reflexes;
- abnormal motor development;
- abnormal coordination;
- bone deformities;
- contractures (or permanent fixing of muscles or joints);
- involuntary gestures;
- involuntary facial gestures;
- unsteady gait;
- balance problems;
- decreased muscle mass; and,
- scissor walking.
Symptoms in infants are sometimes latent, and do not manifest until the child begins to mobilize, and it is possible to observe preferential limb usage, asymmetry of limbs, or gross motor development delays.
Additionally, there are secondary conditions, which accompany Cerebral Palsy, and add to the effects of the disorder, which include:
- eating problems;
- sensory impairment;
- mental retardation;
- learning disabilities;
- behavioral disorders; and,
- sleep disorders.
Legal Help for Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Victims
If a loved one suffers from Cerebral Palsy and you believe that it is as a result of medical malpractice contact an experienced cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawyer at the Finz firm now at (855) TOP-FIRM or simply complete the Free Cerebral Palsy Case Evaluation form.