Caused by trauma to the brain, cerebral palsy is an incurable form of brain damage, generally to the cerebellum, that significantly limits a patient's ability to think, speak, walk and otherwise coordinate movement. According to the National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities (part of the Center for Disease Control), about 1 in every 278 children in the U.S. is living with cerebral palsy. In total, approximately 764,000 Americans currently live with the condition.
While genetics and congenital abnormalities can cause cerebral palsy, so too can medical mistakes made before, during or immediately after the birthing process. When medical malpractice occurs, cerebral palsy patients will likely have a birth injury claim, which would entitle them to compensation for medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, permanent disabilities, pain and suffering, and more.
At the United National Cerebral Palsy Lawyer group, our distinguished professionals serve as advocates for cerebral patients. We have extensive experience in handling legal claims on behalf of patients who believe their cerebral palsy was caused by a medical mistake. For more information, or to schedule a free evaluation of your possible case, contact out birth injury lawyers today.
Life Expectancy of Patients with Cerebral Palsy
Most of the time, cerebral palsy patients will have the same life expectancy as the general population. However, an individual patient's life expectancy will depend on the nature and severity of the condition. In the mildest cases of CP, patients can live independently and even go on to have children and raise their own families.
Those with the most favorable prognoses are cerebral palsy patients who can walk, roll and/or feed themselves. Regardless of the nature of an individual's condition, however, most cerebral palsy patients will require an increasing amount of care as they grow older.
It's important to note that cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease that gets worse over time. Although musculature and bone structure can change slightly as a child matures, the earlier cerebral palsy treatments begin, the better prognosis a patient will have.
Caring for Cerebral Palsy Patients
Long-term treatments will vary according to the nature and severity of a patient’s condition, as well as the age of the patient and other factors associated with his/her medical history. There are different classifications of cerebral palsy that require different forms of treatment.
Generally, caring for people who have cerebral palsy involves minimizing the debilitating symptoms of their condition while helping them live as independently as possible. Treatment options may include:
- orthopedic surgeries to correct muscles and bone abnormalities
- anti-convulsant medications to prevent seizures
- muscle relaxants to control involuntary movements
- physical therapy to improve mobility
- occupational therapy to teach CP patients day-to-day skills, such as showering
- speech therapy to improve verbal communication
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect that malpractice played a role in causing his or her condition, the highly skilled birth injury attorneys at the United National Cerebral Palsy Lawyer group encourage you to schedule a consultation with a qualified legal professional. We provide free evaluations.