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Injuries occurring during birth are rare, however they do occur. Here medical negligence solicitors Blackwater Law discuss cerebral palsy.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects movement, posture and co-ordination. It is commonly diagnosed either at birth or during early childhood. Approximately 2,000 babies are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.
Symptoms during early childhood that may indicate cerebral palsy are delays in reaching developmental milestones such as not walking by 18 months of age, or not sitting by 8 months of age, weak arms or legs as well as random uncontrolled movements as well as many other symptoms.
What causes cerebral palsy?
The most common cause of cerebral palsy is an injury to the brain either before, during or shortly after birth such as through a lack of oxygen or an illness. It can also occur if the mother contracted an infection during pregnancy, certain infections carry a raised risk of cerebral palsy, such as meningitis. In some instances a baby’s brain may begin to show abnormal development whilst still in the womb making it vital for medical staff to ensure the correct procedures are carried out in order to help minimise the chance of cerebral palsy occurring.
However, it can often be difficult to determine the exact cause of cerebral palsy.
Certain factors are thought to increase the likelihood of cerebral palsy occurring such as a premature birth before 37 weeks, a low birth weight or being part of a multiple birth amongst other factors.
Treatment for cerebal palsy
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, instead, treatment centres on ensuring those with the condition lead as independent life as possible, in aiding this, it may include:
In some instances it may be necessary to help treat cerebral palsy with surgery to help with movement.
Cerebral palsy affects individuals in different ways, often those with cerebral palsy are able to lead independent lives however, the condition can raise the chance of other serious conditions occurring in the future and therefore extensive support is often needed to help ensure a maximum quality of life is maintained. In addition it may be necessary to adapt the home to ensure everyday tasks can be managed with minimal disruption to the person with cerebral palsy. Additional support and treatment may also be required throughout the lifetime of the person with cerebral palsy.
In order to assist with this, where negligence has occurred it may be possible to pursue a birth injury claim.