Every year, thousands of expectant parents and new born babies suffer severe and permanent birth injuries that could have been prevented. Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common medical conditions that a child can develop if they suffered trauma or injury during the birthing process.
Cerebral Palsy impacts thousands of families every year. If your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, it may have been the result of a preventable Birth Injury. Receiving a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, or any other serious Birth Trauma, can leave you and your family feeling scared, upset and confused.
At Henson Fuerst, our experienced North Carolina Birth Injury attorneys are here for you.
Call us today to discuss your child’s diagnosis, as well as your family’s legal options. If your child’s injuries were the result of negligence by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a birth defect that can occur when an infant does receive enough oxygen to the brain during the delivery. Cerebral Palsy is not a specific disease, but rather a broad term that can refer to any number of neurological or physical disorders. Cerebral Palsy can result in developmental impairment to a child’s brain function, motor skills, muscle control, and much more.
The effects of Cerebral Palsy manifest differently in each child depending on the type of birth trauma they experienced. However, there are some common signs that may indicate that a child has experienced some form of Cerebral Palsy:
- In Babies Younger than 6 Months: Your baby feels either extremely stiff or extremely floppy when held. When picked up and cradled, your baby’s legs may become stiff and cross or scissor, and your baby’s head may lag.
- In Babies Older than 6 Months: Your baby cannot roll over in either direction; cannot bring his or her hands together; or, your baby has difficulty bringing his or her hands to his mouth, and cannot reach out with both hands simultaneously.
- In Babies Older than 10 Months: Your baby cannot crawl on all fours; or, your baby either crawls by reaching out with one hand and leg while dragging the other, or moves by either hopping on his knees or scooting on his buttocks.
The signs of CP do not worsen over time. However, physical and developmental impairments do become more and more apparent over time as the child continues to age and grow into his body. If you believe that your child may be suffering from Cerebral Palsy, speak to your doctor right away.
Doctors will examine a child based on eight (8) criteria to determine whether or not signs of CP may be present. These criteria are:
- Muscle tone
- Movement Coordination and Control
- Gross Motor Function
- Fine Motor Function
- Oral Motor Function
Each one of these eight clinical signs has certain criteria and symptoms that doctors will closely monitor during an examination. Doctors will examine a child to see if there is evidence of developmental impairment in any or all of these categories.