Cerebral palsy is a serious medical condition that lasts a lifetime. A child can develop cerebral palsy when they are born if their brain is damaged with forceps or other medical tools during delivery. Parents of children with cerebral palsy may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical staff that delivered the baby or the hospital where the child was born, especially if there was no sign of brain or nerve damage in utero.
Ways that Cerebral Palsy Affects People
Various parts of the body are affected by cerebral palsy, and the severity and affected areas differ for each individual. Cerebral palsy affects a person’s mobility and posture. The condition can also affect the way a person communicates and retains information.
Some individuals with cerebral palsy have extremely irregular sleep patterns, as well. Some children and adults with cerebral palsy will require assistance 24 hours a day, while others may only have difficulty completing tasks that require fine motor skills like tying their shoelaces or writing.
Cerebral Palsy and Physical Symptoms
Individuals with cerebral palsy may have little to no control over their movements. They tend to have stiff muscles and tremors. One of the signs of cerebral palsy is if a toddler is unable to sit up unassisted by the time they are two years old.
Some people will have a hard time swallowing and may need to consume pureed or liquid foods for most of their lives. Soft, blended foods may also be best for anyone who suffers from cerebral palsy since digestive issues are a common symptom of the condition.
About one in three people with cerebral palsy can not walk, and one in four can not speak. One in 10 have impaired vision, and three in four have severe pain. Half of the children who develop cerebral palsy will have an intellectual impairment.
Cerebral Palsy and Speech
While one in every four individuals with cerebral palsy can not communicate verbally, those that do may sound breathy when they talk. This is because the coordination function in the brain that prompts the body to take a breath before or while talking doesn’t work properly for people with cerebral palsy.
Some children can make sounds, but since they can’t control the movement of their mouth or neck, people may not be able to make out what they are saying. Speech therapy is available for children with cerebral palsy to improve verbal communication. Some children may need a speech-generating device so they can effectively communicate with friends and loved ones.
Cerebral Palsy and Pain
The brain doesn’t properly regulate pain receptors in people with cerebral palsy. Due to the nerve damage that has occurred in the body, people with this condition often suffer from epilepsy, chronic gastric pain, and scoliosis. Some people will also experience hip subluxation, which is the partial dislocation of the hip, which can cause a great deal of pain as well.
Pain and discomfort can keep individuals with cerebral palsy from completing daily tasks and having an active academic or social life. Since every case is different, it is best for parents of children with cerebral palsy to come up with a treatment plan with their child’s pediatrician.
If you were in unsafe birth conditions and your child has cerebral palsy as a result, you and your family could be entitled to financial compensation. It’s best to contact a lawyer with experience in cerebral palsy and personal injury matters so you’ll know the right steps to take to file a claim and settle your case.
While settlement funds won’t take away your child’s condition, getting the compensation you’re entitled to can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your little one will be adequately taken care of throughout their life.