Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood and affects
more than 764,000 children and adults across the United States. Every
year, 10,000 babies that are born will develop cerebral palsy, which sadly
is incurable. Since there is no cure for cerebral palsy, babies that are
affected will need a lifetime of care, therapy, and rehabilitation in
order to learn to deal with the complexities of modern life. Through early
intervention services, however, children with cerebral palsy can lead
a more typical and improved quality of life.
Cerebral palsy refers to a collection of neurological disorders that affect
a variety of body functions, including coordination, muscle control, cognitive
function and balance. While cerebral palsy can be caused by genetics or
maternal infections, it is often caused by a
birth injury that is the result of medical negligence. Our Philadelphia medical malpractice
attorneys at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have recovered millions of dollars
in verdicts and settlements for parents of children who suffered birth
injuries, including cerebral palsy, as a result of medical negligence.
Discuss your legal needs with our team during a
free case evaluation. Schedule yours by calling (215) 278-4449.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There is no single recognized classification system for the various types
of cerebral palsy, but cerebral palsy is often broadly categorized in
one of three ways based on the condition's impact to motor function:
Athetoid or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: uncontrolled, slow, involuntary movements, and general lack of coordination
characterize this type of cerebral palsy.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: this type of cerebral palsy is categorized by poor coordination, balance,
and depth perception.
Cerebral Palsy: this type of cerebral palsy is categorized by muscle stiffness, lack of
limb control, permanent stiffness, and exaggerated reflexes.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage that may be the result of lack
of oxygen, infection or bleeding in the brain. While cerebral palsy can
develop during pregnancy, it is sometimes the result of medical malpractice.
Lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, and physical trauma during childbirth
are the most common causes of cerebral palsy in medical malpractice lawsuits.
OBGYN errors, medication errors, delay in diagnosing fetal distress, inadequate
monitoring, and failure to perform C-section promptly can all result in
a baby being deprived of oxygen and developing cerebral palsy later in life.
Effects of Cerebral Palsy
A child who has cerebral palsy may exhibit one or more of the following effects:
- Muscle tightness or spasticity
- Difficulty walking
- Disturbance in gait
- Mobility issues
- Involuntary movements
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble speaking
- Difficulty feeding
- Impairment of sight, hearing, or speech
- Intellectual disabilities
- Learning disabilities
- Respiratory issues
- Skin disorders
- Difficulty with bladder and bowel control
Financial Impact of Cerebral Palsy
It is estimated that the lifetime costs of caring for a child with cerebral
palsy is in the millions of dollars. This does not include indirect costs,
such as disability equipment, lost wages for parents who must now care
for their child, and rising insurance premiums. Children who exhibit learning
difficulties and intellectual difficulties, along with their cerebral
palsy will incur the highest medical costs.
Cerebral palsy often necessitates lifelong management and care, which may
include medication, and physical and cognitive therapy. Depending on the
severity of their cerebral palsy, some children will require costly wheelchairs,
disability equipment, and medications to control their seizures. Many
will require frequent hospitalizations and follow-up doctor’s visits,
as well as daily therapy and specialized care.
Call Our Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you believe your child's cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence,
please contact our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers for guidance. We welcome clients from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and across
the United States. We can pursue justice on your behalf.