Cerebral Palsy FAQ

Q: What is cerebral palsy?
A: Cerebral palsy is a condition developed before, during or (rarely) after birth, which affects movement and coordination. It is a static disorder of the brain; physical impairment is most often caused by insufficient oxygen flow to the brain.

Q: Is cerebral palsy preventable?
A: Various factors can influence oxygen flow to a baby’s brain. For example, there may have been a pregnancy complication regarding the umbilical cord or placenta, or perhaps there was a physical trauma to the cranium during delivery.

Q: What are the signs of this disorder?
A: The symptoms of cerebral palsy generally include poor muscle control, muscle tightness, unusually loose posture, involuntary movement and spasms or twitching.

Q: What are the different types of cerebral palsy?
A: Cerebral palsy is classified either by the type of movement problem (spastic, athetoid or ataxic) or by the body parts involved (leg, arm or all limbs), or both. It varies greatly from one child to another.

Q: What are the signs at birth that my baby may have cerebral palsy?
A: The early signs of cerebral palsy include an infant that is “floppy” after 5 minutes, no crying within 10 minutes, seizures in the first 48 hours, prolonged resuscitation after delivery and persistent poor nursing.

Q: How can cerebral palsy be treated?
A: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in part provides for early intervention services. Physical, speech and specialized play therapy are now the accepted modes of treatment of CP, rather than institutionalization as in the past. Many parents today call for early intervention because beginning therapy as soon as possible (within the first year) greatly aids the child’s adjustment and development.

Q: What is the typical compensation for a cerebral palsy case?
A: It includes compensation for pain and suffering, payment of expenses for treating the injury caused by medical malpractice as well as reimbursement for any past, present or future financial losses that you incur as a result of medical malpractice.

Q: How do I know whether I have a case?
A: Many birth injury cases result from negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical professionals. If at any point they fail to adhere to established standards, damages may be recoverable under medical malpractice laws.

Q: What should I do if my baby is a victim of medical malpractice?
A: If you believe your baby has suffered a birth injury or defect that was caused by medical neglect, contact a birth injury lawyer for legal advice.

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