Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

cp-diagWhen children do not meet normal development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, and talking, parents begin to become concerned that something may be wrong with their child. While there are many conditions that could cause delayed development in a child, one diagnosis that most parents do not want to hear is cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is generally not diagnosed until 2-3 years of age, but the symptoms of cerebral palsy can begin to manifest as early as 2 months of age.

One of the earliest signs of cerebral palsy is the child’s inability to hold up his or her head. Other symptoms may follow as the child grows that may add to the concerns the parents already have about their child. While many children with cerebral palsy have a normal intellect, other children with cerebral palsy suffer from mental retardation. Because cerebral palsy is caused by abnormalities in the brain, it is often difficult to determine the extent to which the child will be affected by the condition. Cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition, but there is no cure for cerebral palsy at this time.

Cerebral palsy can result from any number of problems and complications arising during gestation, during delivery, or after birth. Infections, blood disorders, and exposure to toxic substances can cause children in the womb to suffer a brain injury that leads to the development of cerebral palsy. Deprivation of oxygen to the brain during delivery can cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. Children that need oxygen after birth, have low birth weights, have severe jaundice, or suffer from seizures may develop cerebral palsy. Estimates indicate 10,000 children each year will develop cerebral palsy. Some of these cases of cerebral palsy may be the result of medical malpractice. This typically occurs when a healthcare providers acts negligently or makes a medical mistake when providing treatment before, during, or after the child’s birth. Children that are affected by cerebral palsy due to the negligence or mistakes of their doctor may be entitled to monetary remuneration by those responsible for their condition. A medical malpractice lawyer can provide expert advice and guidance in filing a medical malpractice claim.

While many babies are born in Maryland and Washington D.C. with no complications, others suffer some type of trauma that may be the result of medical malpractice. This trauma may lead the child to develop cerebral palsy. Parents that believe their child may be the victim of medical malpractice should contact Robinson and Associates. The law firm of Robinson and Associates offers free consultations to parents in Maryland and Washington D.C. that suspect their child’s condition of cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice.