In a recent report it was stated that cerebral palsy affects nearly 10,000 newborns every year. The statistics are more troubling in that research shows that 25-35% of all cerebral palsy cases could have been prevented. It has been reported that medical errors during or after the delivery of a child was the cause of cerebral palsy in 35-45% of deliveries.
The diagnosis of cerebral palsy occurs usually by 18 months of age. One in 323 children has been identified with cerebral palsy. The malady is more common in boys than in girls. In addition, cerebral palsy is found more often in children of African-American descent than in Caucasian, Asian or Hispanic children.
The medical costs of caring for and treating a child with cerebral palsy are enormous. According to the study, the lifetime cost of care for an individual with cerebral palsy is almost $1 million.
Cerebral palsy by definition is caused by brain injury or brain malformation. This can occur before, during or immediately after birth. Each individual case of cerebral palsy is different in the way it affects a child’s motor functions and intellectual abilities. It depends on the nature of the brain injury itself. Because of the brain damage, the child’s muscular development and coordination are affected. The unique aspect of cerebral palsy is related directly to the extent of injury to the brain or developing brain. It also depends on the time of the injury or the development of the brain if the injury occurred before birth.
The physical impact of children with cerebral palsy is widely varied. Among children affected, 77% have spastic cerebral palsy, which makes their muscles stiff in movements that appear uncomfortable or awkward. Forty-one per cent of those affected are limited in the ability to walk, run or crawl. Forty percent of those afflicted have intellectual disability. Thirty-five percent suffer from episodes of epilepsy. Thirty-one percent of those diagnosed with cerebral palsy need to use special equipment for mobility.
In most cases, cerebral palsy is diagnosed by a child’s pediatrician. After brain damage or brain malformation is confirmed, the doctors’ treating and care planning takes place. Diagnosis is usually made by a radiologist, neurologist or pediatric neurologist.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth trauma injury cases and medical negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Long Grove, Elk Grove Village, Lyons, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Naperville, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Waukegan, Joliet, Elgin, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Inverness, Ill.
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