Cerebral Palsy Information

Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Cerebral Palsy Types

Cerebral Palsy in Infants

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in every 278 American babies is living with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy describes brain damage that impairs cognition, speech, coordination and ambulation. Some of the most common causes of infant cerebral palsy include:

  • infections affecting either the mother or newborn
  • problems with the infant's brain development during the pregnancy
  • stroke
  • lack of oxygen for the infant before or during the birthing process
  • untreated jaundice
  • medical mistakes made before, during or immediately after birth

When medical malpractice contributes to a case of cerebral palsy, victims and their families will most likely have a birth injury claim and will be eligible to seek a recovery that will help with the challenges ahead. The United National Cerebral Palsy Lawyer group advocates for infants and families affected by cerebral palsy, and will make sure to hold all responsible parties accountable, should the condition be linked to a doctor’s mistake.

If you believe something could have been done during the birthing process to prevent your infant from developing cerebral palsy, contact our legal group for legal help.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms in Infants

The exact symptoms an infant with cerebral palsy displays will vary according to the nature and severity of the condition, as well as the child's age. Generally, cerebral palsy symptoms won't be noticeable until a baby has the ability to start moving on his or her own. The following table breaks down the typical symptoms of cerebral palsy displayed at various ages of infancy and early childhood.

Age

CP Symptoms

Younger than 6 mos. old

  • Stiff legs
  • Scissoring of legs when picked up
  • Problems controlling the head when picked up

6 to 10 mos.

  • Continued difficulty controlling the head
  • Only using one hand to reach for objects
  • Consistently keeping the other hand in a fist

10 mos. to 1 yr.

  • Only using one side of the body to crawl
  • Dragging the other side of the body around (not using the arm and leg at all) when trying to crawl
  • Unable to stand without support

1 to 2 yrs.

  • Unable to crawl
  • Unable to stand

Older than 2 yrs. old

  • Unable to walk
  • Unable to push an object on wheels

As an infant with cerebral palsy continues to grow, other noticeable symptoms of cerebral palsy may include:

  • difficulty speaking, swallowing and/or making precise movements
  • inconsistent and abnormal muscle tone
  • involuntary movements, such as writhing or grimacing
  • lack of coordination
  • mental retardation
  • seizures and/or tremors

Diagnosing an Infant with Cerebral Palsy

The mildest cases of cerebral palsy may not be officially diagnosed until a child is about 5 years old due to the subtly of symptoms. However, in most cases, cerebral palsy patients are diagnosed by the age of two – usually the time at which the musculature abnormalities and involuntary movements associated with CP are noticeable.

To confirm or rule out the presence of cerebral palsy, medical professionals will perform a variety of diagnostic tests, which may include:

  • cranial ultrasounds, MRIs and other brain scans
  • electroencephalograms (EEGs), which measure the brain's electrical activity
  • blood tests to screen for genetic disorders and to rule out the possibility of blood clots/strokes (which can mimic the symptoms of cerebral palsy)

If your infant has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you would like to know what resources are available to you and your family, please contact our cerebral palsy attorneys today.

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  • 2Birth conditions
  • 3Hospitalization
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