Cerebral Palsy Symptoms - Medical Malpractice Compensation Claim Lawyers

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Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive and non-contagious form of muscle disease that has its origin in brain damage to the motor centers of the brain. The insult that causes cerebral palsy can happen before birth, at the time of birth or shortly after birth but the actual symptoms often don’t show up until later—as late as 1-3 years of age. The symptoms become more pronounced as the baby gets older and is expected to walk and move his or her extremities more easily than they do with cerebral palsy. After three years of age, the symptoms that are present are as bad as they’re going to get.

A cerebral palsy lawyer is a specialist personal injury advocate with expertise in medical malpractice compensation claims for cerebral palsy victims and their families. Most cases of cerebral palsy are not as a result of errors caused by healthcare professionals and it is a cerebral palsy lawyer’s job to distinguish between those cases that occur naturally and the 10% of cases that are the result of clinical negligence. Our cerebral palsy lawyers offer a wealth of experience and give free advice with no further obligation on liability and the potential value of a claim. Payment for services is based on a contingency fee basis which means that we get paid when you get paid. If the case is lost there is nothing whatsoever to pay. There are time limits in all personal injury compensation claims and failure to take legal action within the limitation period can mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. If you have the slightest suspicion that your child’s condition has been caused by medical malpractice you should take legal advice from a cerebral palsy compensation claim lawyer as soon as your child’s diagnosis is confirmed by a doctor.

In cerebral palsy, children begin early to fail to reach major milestones. They cannot turn over, sit up, crawl or walk at the age they are supposed to or they walk differently from other children. These things can be a tip off that something is going wrong. Most children with cerebral palsy have an increased muscle tone of one or more extremities. They may retain their infant newborn reflexes past the age when they should disappear. There can be cognitive delays as well.

Common signs of cerebral palsy that show up shortly after birth are feeding difficulties, such as a poor suck or a swallowing disconnect with the sucking reflex. The cry can be very weak or very shrill. There can be neonatal seizures which last for a long time or pass after a few weeks or months. The baby can have a low muscle tone or a high muscle tone and be very stiff. Babies can arch their back when held and will hold their legs out to extended arms or legs. They often look the same as colicky babies when they are held.

Over time, you may see shrunken muscles in the affected extremities. There is restricted movement of these muscles so they atrophy from a lack of use. The extremities are skinny because they have atrophied muscles. A child with cerebral palsy can experience pain when they are even lightly touched. Brushing their teeth can hurt and common objects cannot be felt or recognized simply through touch because the sense of touch is impaired.

There is often drooling which is from abnormal facial and throat muscles. This can cause a rash on the face and neck that can be painful or irritating. Dental issues can occur when teeth can’t be brushed frequently so many children develop gingivitis or gum disease. Seizure medications can contribute to gum disease as well.

There can be an increase in accidents due to an abnormal gait. Falls are common as the person with cerebral palsy tries to ambulate. There can also be an increase in chronic illnesses such as heart disease or lung disease. If swallowing is affected, the child can frequently aspirate into the lungs, leading to recurrent pneumonia and lung disease.

The actual symptoms depend on the type of cerebral palsy a child has. Eighty percent have spastic cerebral palsy which involves an increase in tone of the muscles, a scissored gait and a lack of mobility of the extremities. The child is often wheelchair bound, particularly if the lower extremities are involved.

In ataxic cerebral palsy, there are balance problems, such as an inability to stand or walk without falling over or getting off balance. This represents 5-10 percent of cerebral palsy. In athetoid cerebral palsy, there are abnormal movements that can be obvious on observing such a child. The movements are slow and an arm or leg can wave about slowly and be completely out of control of the person having the problem.

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