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.
They relate specifically to the brain and nervous system and have lasting implications on the victim’s ability to coordinate movement, as well as in some cases perform communicative or cognitive tasks. Although appropriate treatment can help victims and their family manage the symptoms of cerebral palsy, there is no known cure.
Main Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are three main categories of Cerebral Palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy occurs in approximately 75-88% of victims, and relates specifically to restricted movement owing to overly stiff or tight muscle tone. Athetoid afflicts around 15% of victims, and refers to a multitude of uncontrollable, sustained and / or involuntary movements as muscles struggle to loosen from a state of stiffness or contraction. Ataxic cerebral palsy is rarer and relates to the inability to accurately and effectively activate the correct muscle patterns during movement, resulting in poor balance and / or spatial awareness. The reality though is that most victims of Cerebral Palsy suffer a mixed form of the condition comprised of two or even all of the aforementioned manifestations.
A wide range of factors can contribute to a child developing cerebral palsy, including infections or complications during pregnancy or birth, genetic mutations relating to the child’s neurological development, internal bleeding of the child’s brain, restriction of oxygen supply to the foetus, or in very rare cases; hereditary acquisition.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Symptoms typically appear by the age of about 3, vary in terms of severity from case to case, and can come with associated conditions such as frequent fits / seizures and problems controlling drooling or swallowing (known as Dysphagia). Victims may also struggle to speak and display some learning difficulties, although it’s thought that raw intelligence is not affected by the condition.
Coping with Cerebral Palsy
Families of those affected by the condition must often bear a life-long commitment to caring for the victim, and although some suffer only minor difficulties, many are severely disabled, requiring constant care and supervision. This can take a significant toll on the mental, physical and financial health of all those involved, and as a result groups like http://www.cerebralpalsy.org.uk can play a vital role in supporting families. This can come in the form of advice, provision of important contacts and in some cases help in securing appropriate legal counsel for the pursuit of cerebral palsy compensation claims. This is applicable where medical professionals might reasonably be judged as being at fault for affliction of a child with the condition.
Cerebral Palsy is not thought to limit life expectancy in its own right, as the affected areas of the brain and neurological system remain unchanged. However, a life spent battling the symptoms of the condition can cause them to worsen, making it ever more important that affected families receive the support they deserve.
Blackwater Law are Here for You
Blackwater Law has clinical negligence solicitors specialising in birthing injury compensation claims, assisting families across the country in seeking compensation for injury or illness afflicted during or after birth by medical error.
For free initial advice from a specialist clinical negligence lawyer, call Blackwater Law clinical negligence solicitors toady on 0800 083 5500.