No Certainty in Predicting Life Expectancy for Cerebral Palsy Children

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a syndrome with several mechanisms. A child with cerebral palsy has disorders of movement or posture.  This occurs during early development and may be associated with a birth injury. Most diagnoses of severe CP are made within the first months after birth. 

By definition, CP is the term used for the abnormal development of or damage to the motor control centers of the brain. Palsy means paralysis. Palsy describes uncontrolled muscle movements, which is a condition prevalent in those diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The source of cerebral palsy is usually the abnormal function of the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex.  Physicians agree that CP is not a specific diagnosis. It is a description of neurological and physical deficiencies. 

Cerebral palsy can be caused just weeks after conception through birth and after.Even in early childhood, a child could be afflicted with CP. About 5-10 percent of those with CP are afflicted because of some sort of trauma during birth. Other possible causes of CP are related to abnormal development of the brain, prenatal care, premature birth and brain injuries that could happen within a few years of life.

In lawsuits where birth trauma is the issue because of asphyxiation or oxygen deprivation before birth,  the issue of life expectancy of a cerebral palsy child is a very important factor. 

There have been many studies about the survival of severely afflicted CP children. According to one study, those who are severely disabled in four functional disability categories have approximately a 50 percent probability of surviving to age 13 years, along with a 25 percent probability of surviving to age 30.

For those who are afflicted with cerebral palsy for mild to severe disabilities, the life expectancy is still different. In fact, it appears that there is no reliable study because of all the variables that may be present.Variables include those with epilepsy, to those who have no functional motor abilities at all. 

Some studies construct a life table from which to estimate the survival using standard actuarial practices. The California Disabilities Services Register and the Mersey Cerebral Palsy Register remain the only two databases that have used estimates for the survival of persons with cerebral palsy.

Children who are beset with cerebral palsy are at great disadvantage. It is a hardship for families with a child with cerebral palsy. Love and great medical care make for the best results in the most difficult of family situations.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as the result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Norridge, Harwood Heights, River Grove, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Chicago (Marquette Park), Chicago (Morgan Park), Palos Park, Burr Ridge, Niles, Western Springs and Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

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