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Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive motor conditions that can cause physical disability in development, mostly in the areas of movement. It is the result of damage to the motor control centers of brain and often occurs during pregnancy, birth, or up to about age three.
Limitations in movement and posture, as well as hindered sensation and depth perception are common in children with CP. Cognitive impairments and epilepsy also occur in about a third of children diagnosed with CP. Cerebral palsy can often be accompanied by secondary musculoskeletal problems.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy.
There are four classifications to describe the different movement impairments associated with cerebral palsy. These classifications correspond with the area(s) of the brain that are damaged.
The four primary CP classifications are:
This form of CP occurs in 80% of all cases. Children with this condition experience extreme muscle tension and experience what is essentially a neuromuscular mobility impairment. It can be traced to lesions in the central nervous system.
Spastic CP is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions, in addition to muscle spasms resulting from this tightness. This often leads to the very early onset of arthritis and tendonitis, occurring in those as young as their mid-20s.
Ataxic cerebral palsy occurs in roughly 10% of all CP cases. It is linked to damage in the cerebellum. Some children with ataxic CP experience tremors. Fine motor skills, like writing, typing, or using scissors can suffer. Balance, especially while walking, will likely be affected. It is common for children with ataxic CP to have difficulty processing visual and/or auditory input.
Also known as dyskinetic cerebral palsy, this form includes is mixed muscle tension in combination with involuntary motions. Children with athetoid cerebral palsy often experience difficulty holding themselves in an upright. They may also find it hard to hold a steady position while sitting or walking, which typically leads to involuntary motions. For some children with this form of CP, it takes a great deal of effort and focus to get their hands to touch a certain spot, such as the tip of their nose or picking up a toy. They may not be able to hold onto objects, especially smaller ones which demand fine motor control, such as a toothbrush.
Cerebral palsy can present itself in the following ways:
Some of the earliest signs of cerebral palsy during infancy include:
Children born with severe CP often exhibit an irregular posture. Their bodies can appear overly soft or rigid. Symptoms may appear/change with age. Some babies born with CP do not immediately display obvious signs. Typically, CP presents itself when the baby reaches the developmental stage at 6 to 9 months. This is when the child becomes mobile.
Speech and language issues are also common in children with CP. Difficulties with speech are associated with poor breathing and facial muscle control.
In many cases, there is no discernable cause of cerebral palsy. However, typical causes include exposure to infection, lack of oxygen-rich blood during labor/delivery, complications during the perinatal period, and birth trauma. Additionally, CP tends to be more common in multiple and premature births.
Between 40 and 50% of all children who develop cerebral palsy are born prematurely. These children are more vulnerable, partly because their organs are not fully developed.
Other causes and risk factors include:
The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is typically based on a physical examination. Once diagnosed with CP, further diagnostic testing is optional. Neuroimaging with CT or MRI may be appropriate when the cause of a child’s CP is undetermined. The neuroimaging study can point to the timing of the initial damage. An abnormal neuroimaging study also indicates the presence of associated conditions, including intellectual and developmental disabilities.
If your child suffered a birth injury as the result of medical malpracitce or negligence which led to the development of cerebral palsy, the team at Willens Law Offices can help.
We have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future. We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.
Our nationally recognized birth injury firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that speak to our success and experience. You will not pay our firm unless we win or settle your case.
Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation. Our firm’s expert team are available to you whenever you need them, 24/7.
The plaintiff went to a Chicago hospital for delivery of twins via cesarean section. In the delivery room, a suspicious rash was recognized on one of the twins and later, fecal and urine cultures confirmed the presence of candida. She was started on prophylactic anti-fungal medicine and is healthy. The other twin was clear of any rash and though she was at risk for fungal infection, she was not treated in a timely manner. Later, a head ultrasound and MRI confirmed the diagnosis and damage to her brain. A lawsuit was filed on the plaintiff’s behalf. The case was vigorously defended by lawyers for the physician and the hospital that he worked for over 3 years. Eventually, a mediation took place at which time the defendants offered $3,000,000 to settle, which the plaintiff rejected. It was not until trial that the case settled for $10,000,000.
Birth injury cases are among the most complicated medical malpractice cases to litigate. With years of experience in birth trauma litigation our legal team has the skills, the resources and experience necessary to address and win a wide variety of birth injury cases. Our legal team has secured millions of dollars in compensation for birth injury victims.
With decades of hands-on experience working with top healthcare professionals in labor and delivery, our legal ream has access to some of the top medical professionals in the world. As in many types of medical malpractice cases, high quality expert are essential in obtaining justice.
Our firm was established to focus on the unique needs of our clients. We work with top medical, life-planning, and forensics experts to determine the causes and extent of injuries, prognoses of victims, and areas of medical negligence. Our passion for helping birth injury victims allows our attorneys to deliver unrivaled legal services for your family.
Willens Law Offices have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future.
We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.