What are the Effects of Cerebral Palsy on Infants?
When a child is born with a severe injury that may affect them for the rest of their lives, the child's parents likely want to know why and how their child was injured, as well as how they can best care for them both now and into the future.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Some birth injuries are noticeable at the moment a baby is born. Other types of injuries, including cerebral palsy, may not be immediately noticeable. Cerebral palsy is a group of movement control disorders which develop early on in the life of an infant or child, becoming noticeable as the child grows and develops.
What are the Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Infants?
Even though cerebral palsy might not be diagnosed for some time after a child is born, there are some signs of cerebral palsy which might be visible immediately after a baby's birth. One of these signs is that the baby is not breathing when they are delivered, and they require resuscitation.
Babies who appear to be limp or floppy when they are born, or whose skin appears bluish in color may also have been injured during birth. Errors in treating jaundice can result in the types of brain injuries that can cause cerebral palsy.
When Do Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy Surface?
Children who are affected by cerebral palsy often start to show symptoms between three months and two years of age. The types of symptoms that a child will exhibit depend upon which type of cerebral palsy they have. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of cerebral palsy, and symptoms include stiff muscles, tight joints, an abnormal gait, and, in some cases, paralysis. Symptoms which may indicate that a child has another form of cerebral palsy include lack of coordination, muscles that are too loose, abnormal movements of limbs especially during times of stress, seizures, and problems swallowing food.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
There are multiple causes of cerebral palsy, including medical mistakes during labor and delivery which result in brain injuries. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by bacterial infections like viral encephalitis and bacterial meningitis, as well as by head trauma. Unfortunately, there are also some cases of cerebral palsy for which an exact cause cannot be identified.
Some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by failure to closely monitor the baby's health during labor and delivery, or failure to intervene promptly in situations where intervention is necessary to protect the health of the baby.
Other cases of cerebral palsy that are caused by medical mistakes involve failures of prenatal care providers to respond to changes in a mother's health during her pregnancy. Mothers are encouraged to seek prenatal care on a regular schedule so that medical professionals can assess how her pregnancy is progressing and identify and treat any concerns right away. Sometimes, when changes in a pregnant woman's health are noted during the course of prenatal care, the prenatal care providers do not order the proper tests at the correct times, or they fail to order specialized care if test results indicate a need for it. These medical mistakes and others like them can cause cerebral palsy if they result in head trauma or oxygen deprivation during birth.
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney at Goeing Goeing McQuinn PLLC
Call the Kentucky birth injury lawyers at Goeing Goeing McQuinn PLLC today to learn how we can help you seek justice for your injured child.