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What are the Causes and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Schaumburg medical malpractice attorney

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of muscle tone, movement, or posture that can be caused by damage to a child's immature, developing brain. This can occur before birth or during labor. Symptoms are often not recognized at the time of birth, and the severity of the disorder varies from person to person. Some children cannot walk, have intellectual disabilities, or experience epilepsy. Blindness and deafness are also fairly common with those who have cerebral palsy.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

There are various reasons a child may suffer from cerebral palsy, all of which affect the child's brain development. Some causes are circumstantial and cannot be avoided, while others are a result of medical professionals’ errors. Below are some of the causes of cerebral palsy:

  • Gene mutations leading to abnormal brain development
  • Infections suffered by the mother that affect the fetus
  • Fetal strokes causing disruption of blood supply to the child’s brain 
  • Infections suffered by the child that cause inflammation in or around the brain
  • Traumatic brain injuries to the infant while in the womb or during delivery
  • Asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) during labor and delivery

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy’s symptoms vary greatly depending on the amount of damage done to the child's brain. The disorder is typically detected as the infant begins to fall behind in terms of movement and muscle development. Children with cerebral palsy will often experience one of two extremes, with muscles being too stiff or too floppy. This can usually also lead to tremors or exaggerated reflexes that are beyond their control. Parents can recognize there is an issue if the child does not meet developmental milestones like pushing him or herself up, sitting alone, or crawling. Some children will favor one side of the body by using only one hand or dragging one leg when crawling. These symptoms will continue to escalate as the child experiences difficulty walking. Speech development and control of the mouth can also prove difficult. The child may drool or have issues swallowing, sucking, or eating. Any precise movements may be impossible for a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Contact an Arlington Heights Cerebral Palsy Attorney

Every parent’s priority is to protect his or her child, whether that means socially, academically, or medically. Most parents do research to find a doctor who makes them comfortable and confident in his or her ability to care for the developing fetus and newborn child. If that level of care is not met, there can be lifelong consequences for the child and parents. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you think your doctor’s negligence may be to blame, contact our experienced Rolling Meadows birth injury attorneys at 847-797-8000 for a free phone consultation.



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