Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move. These disorders occur due to damage to a baby’s developing brain during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy can affect people in many ways, and often affects the person’s control over their body. This is a permanent condition, though some of the effects may worsen or improve over time.
Cerebral Palsy affects:
- Muscle coordination
- Body movement
- Muscle tone
Those with cerebral palsy may also experience visual, hearing, learning, speech, and intellectual impairments. It isn’t uncommon for those with cerebral palsy to also suffer from epilepsy.
Facts About Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in children. Approximately 764,000 people in the U.S. are believed to have cerebral palsy.
- There are four main types of cerebral palsy: Spastic, Athetoid/Dyskinetic, Ataxic, and Mixed. Spastic is the most common type and makes up 70% of all cerebral palsy cases.
- Cerebral Palsy is non-progressive. It will not generally get worse over time. Often it is effectively managed with treatment and continuous care.
- Two-thirds of cerebral palsy sufferers can walk. Some children may require mobility aids, but many are able to move around independently.
- Three-quarters of people with cerebral palsy are able to communicate verbally. Many times, assistive devices are used to improve speech and hearing.
- There is no known cure for cerebral palsy. There are many effective treatments, which can help manage symptoms and allow those with cerebral palsy to lead a full life.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to a developing brain, either during pregnancy or shortly after the baby is born. When neurological damage prevents the brain from developing properly and occurs before or during birth, or within the first 5 years of life, it is considered cerebral palsy.
Common causes of damage include:
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Hemorrhaging (bleeding) in the brain
- Asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen before, during, or after birth
- Prenatal drug exposure
- Mercury poisoning from fish
- Toxoplasmosis from raw or undercooked meat
- Head injuries
It is estimated that 20% to 50% of cases were caused by unknown causes. Unfortunately, medical negligence can cause injuries that may lead to cerebral palsy. For this reason, it is critical that the mother is closely monitored for illnesses or infections and the birth is properly handled.
Does Your Child Have Cerebral Palsy? Learn More – (888) 398-2277
Unfortunately, many cases of cerebral palsy are preventable. If your doctor, nurse, or other medical personnel were negligent, your child may have been injured during your pregnancy or their birth. If you suspect that negligence caused your child’s injuries, don’t hesitate to speak to our Kansas City birth injury attorneys. At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., we believe in providing high-quality legal counsel with a compassionate, client-focused approach.
Schedule a free case evaluation to learn if you may have a claim. Contact our team by calling (888) 398-2277.