Cerebral palsy is a global term referring to a disorder that causes physical movement and reflex disabilities. Most of the time, cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury before birth or during labor and delivery.
Sometimes the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy are obvious at birth, but on other occasions they become noticeable between infancy and kindergarten. Look for movement-related symptoms like floppy or rigid arms and legs, floppy or rigid trunk, unusual reflexes, abnormal posture, unsteady gait or walking, swallowing issues, and irregular eye movements.
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term and doesn’t cause cookie-cutter symptoms in people. In fact, individuals with cerebral palsy have a variety of functional levels. Some people with cerebral palsy can walk, but others can’t. Some folks have normal or close to normal cognitive or intellectual capacity, while others have disabilities in that area. Doctors classify cerebral palsy with adjectives including spasticity, dyskinetic, ataxic, and hypotonic.
There are many causes of cerebral palsy. Some are related to medical negligence and others aren’t.
• Birth hypoxia/asphyxia causes cerebral palsy by a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery. This is often related to medical malpractice.
• Infections during pregnancy of either the mother or unborn baby.
• Traumatic head injury to the unborn baby. This could happen when the mother falls or is involved in a car wreck.
• Genetic or chromosomal issues.
Timing is important when it comes to investigating the cause of cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy often need substantial financial support for medical care and therapy that will help them reach their potential.
If a child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, Texas has a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit to recover for the harms, damages, and expenses for the child up to the age of 18. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced Texas medical malpractice lawyer immediately upon the first suspicion that your child has cerebral palsy. A medical malpractice attorney can help you investigate the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy and, if it’s related to medical negligence, file a lawsuit to get the resources you need to care for your son or daughter.
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Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas.