The month of March has been reserved for Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, to ensure that people stay informed about this often-stigmatized disability. With more than 700,000 people living with cerebral palsy (CP) in the United States alone, it’s crucial that we take action to end the stereotypes and misinformation, and help support those in our lives who have this motor-related disability.
Our Birmingham birth injury attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP can help families whose children developed cerebral palsy after a physician or obstetrician was negligent, typically during the childbirth process. While people with CP can still go on to live active and meaningful lives, there’s no denying the financial and emotional burden that this condition can often place on parents – as well as the physical and emotional toll it takes on affected children.
In this post, we’ll talk about the facts of cerebral palsy, and discuss how you can take action against physician negligence.
GET THE FACTS: CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebral palsy is the single most common motor-related disability in childhood, and well over 17 million people worldwide have some form of CP. While cerebral palsy is technically a neurological disorder, it primarily affects motor skills – hence why it is considered a motor disability first and foremost.
There are also many different forms of cerebral palsy, and their symptoms can differ both in severity and in outward presentation. However, nearly all cases of CP are characterized by poor muscle tone, difficulty with walking and fine motor skills, and a lack of coordination throughout the body. In some cases, intellectual impairment and learning disabilities may also accompany CP, although these instances are far fewer than most people realize.
Here are some of the most important facts you should know about cerebral palsy:
- Over 66% of all children diagnosed with CP can walk – and more can eventually learn to walk later in life.
- Cerebral palsy does not necessarily prevent an individual from living an independent life.
- More than 75% of all CP patients experience chronic and recurring pain.
- Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease, which means that symptoms will not automatically worsen with time.
- Cerebral palsy is not contagious.
- Some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy include: Premature birth, a lack of oxygen during birth or in-utero, and select genetic factors.
- At least 1 in 4 CP patients cannot talk, and others may experience speech impediments due to a lack of muscle control.
- There’s currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but symptoms can be improved in some cases.
HOLDING DOCTORS ACCOUNTABLE FOR BIRTH INJURIES
The lives of those with cerebral palsy can only improve through increased access to medical treatment, and unfortunately, the life-long costs associated with more severe CP cases can be difficult for many parents to meet on their own. That’s just one of the reasons it’s important to hold doctors accountable for indirectly or directly causing a child to develop cerebral palsy.
Whether your child’s condition was caused by the incorrect use of medical tools like forceps, or by oxygen deprivation at some point during childbirth, the attending physician could potentially be liable for the damage. If you believe negligence may have contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy, our experienced legal team at Hare Wynn can help you seek appropriate compensation for your child’s injuries, ensuring that they always have access to the medical resources and treatments they deserve.
Call us today at 800-568-5330 for a free consultation. We serve families throughout Alabama and Kentucky, and we can also take on cases nationwide.
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