Cerebral palsy (CP) is a broad term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. It’s an unfortunate fact that, every year, medical malpractice is responsible for thousands of cerebral palsy cases.
Cerebral palsy is considered to be a brain injury that occurs in developing brains of infants, before, during, or after birth. The term “cerebral palsy” is used to describe many different “palsies,” or malfunctions, occurring in the brain after injury. Children can develop cerebral palsy up until the age of two or three, and it can be caused by distress to the infant during labor, severe jaundice, or an Rh incompatibility between the infant and the mother.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects the brain and results in motor deficiency. The word “cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” refers to paralysis. Any trauma to the brain that occurs during birth that results in physical paralysis may be considered cerebral palsy. There are many forms of cerebral palsy that have a wide range of potential side effects and consequences.
Cerebral palsy often results from brain injury before, during, or after birth. It is often linked to medical malpractice because cerebral palsy can develop after a baby has suffered trauma as a result of mistakes made by medical professionals during labor or delivery. For example, palsy can occur if the child is deprived of oxygen for too long, if the baby is dropped, removed with too much force, or sustains head trauma from the wrongful use of an instrument such as forceps or vacuum extraction. These birth-related malpractice head injuries can cause trauma to the brain.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) defines cerebral palsy as a neurological disorder that affects children starting in infancy or early childhood. When a child is injured during delivery, they may develop cerebral palsy as a result of the injury. Some children who catch a bacterial infection during or after delivery may also have cerebral palsy if the infection damages their brain. Although cerebral palsy does not worsen over time, the impediments it does cause can change the course of a family’s life.
In cerebral palsy, parts of the brain that control motor function are damaged, resulting in impaired body movement or poor muscle coordination. The body’s muscles and nerves are usually healthy; the problem is in the part of the brain that sends messages to the muscles and nerves to create movement. In most cases, cerebral palsy can be diagnosed by the time the child is three years old, when it becomes clear the child isn’t moving normally. No two persons with cerebral palsy have exactly the same impairments, but some common symptoms include a lack of muscle coordination, muscles that are too tight or too loose, dragging one foot or leg while walking, or walking on the toes.