Has your baby been diagnosed with cerebral palsy?
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Cerebral Palsy is the collective term for a wide range of neurological conditions that can afflict a child in the build-up to, during or immediately after birth.
Cerebral palsy occurs when a brain injury is sustained to the part of the baby’s brain that governs muscle control. In addition to difficulty controlling movement, cerebral palsy can also affect a child’s vision, hearing, learning and ability to communicate. Cerebral palsy can manifest as a result of developmental problems with the brain in the womb (potentially due to infection), or as a result of harm sustained before, during or immediately post birth.
The condition can vary in terms of severity, and in some cases may only affect one side of the body, or even just the legs, leaving the upper body uninhibited. The presence of associated medical conditions and difficulties can also vary greatly.
Unfortunately, the condition as a whole remains incurable, which is why the diagnosis can be devastating for families, particularly when it is the result of medical negligence and therefore preventable. In such instances, an expert medical negligence solicitor can help you secure the compensation needed to meet the challenges the condition will likely present to you and your family.
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.
According to the charity Scope, 150 children in the UK are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy every month, and it affects everyone differently.
Physical disabilities mean those living with cerebral palsy may get tired more quickly, as their muscles have to work harder. Whilst resting, pain and muscle spasms can keep people awake.
According to Scope, approximately a third of people with CP have learning difficulties. The condition can cause problems with processing sensory information such as sound or light, as well as causing difficulties with letters and numbers.
Sometimes, muscles in the throat can be affected which makes talking difficult. In some cases, some people will use some form of a communication aid to help them communicate.
As people with CP get older, they are at risk of developing further conditions such as:
The reasons for these can be due to a lack of exercise, physical exhaustion, poor seating and posture to name a few.
It is not uncommon for a diagnosis of cerebral palsy to occur in adulthood. These cases are generally mild, having not shown any symptoms as a child.
Raising a child with cerebral palsy will involve dealing with a range of physical and emotional obstacles. Whilst therapy and medication can alleviate some of the symptoms the condition remains incurable.
Making a claim for cerebral palsy compensation can provide you with financial security and peace of mind that professional care can be afforded now and in the future.