If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it could be due to an injury during birth.
Cerebral palsy is the result of damage to the motor cortex of the brain, which is the part of the brain that drives muscle control and general coordination. Cerebral palsy is a developmental and motor disorder and, depending on the extent of the brain injury, may not be diagnosed until a child struggles with physical development milestones and fine motor skills.
The vast majority of cerebral palsy cases are considered congenital meaning that the brain damage occurred before or during childbirth. Congenital cerebral palsy may result from complications during birth such as uterine rupture, placenta previa, umbilical cord problems, and disrupted oxygen supply. In such cases, the quality and responsiveness of medical care may have played a direct role in the level of infant distress and the likelihood of injury leading to cerebral palsy. While not intentional, the failure to monitor and recognize emerging threats to the baby’s life and health may have caused the child a lifetime of disability.
In some cases, a birth is so traumatic, it is immediately evident the child suffered an injury to their brain. In other cases, the child is not diagnosed until they begin missing key developmental milestones such as sitting up, rolling over, and grasping with their hands. Regardless of when a child is diagnosed, parents learning their child has cerebral palsy or CP is devastating and adapting to a child with special needs is overwhelming. Often, parents are so focused on caring for their child that they do not stop to question how or why their child suffers from this incurable condition.
If you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with CP, having a complete understanding of the care you and your child received before, during, and after delivery may help unravel the mystery of how and why your child suffered the injury leading to their CP. It can also potentially help you receive critical support and help with your child’s extensive financial and care needs ahead. The CDC estimated that the lifetime cost of caring for an individual with cerebral palsy was $921,000 in 2004 dollars, not including lost income for caregivers or other related expenses. Imagine what that figure would look like today.
No one can give you and your child back the life you would have had without a lifetime of living with CP. Before going it alone, consider speaking with an attorney experienced with investigating potential cases of medical negligence leading to a diagnosis of CP, if only for your peace of mind.