Cerebral Palsy

Attorneys Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Serving Clients Nationwide

Every year in the US, approximately 10,000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Warning Signs

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary widely and are usually not noticeable until a child’s nervous system matures. Symptoms include failure to reach age-appropriate developmental milestones, abnormal muscle tone, unusual posture due to muscle impairment on one side of the body, and limited range of motion in joints.

Diagnosis & Care

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy usually emerge in the first year of life. Cerebral palsy is diagnosed through a comprehensive medical history and exam. The healthcare provider should have experience in neurological examination and assessment of impaired children. Unfortunately, no one single test can determine if a child has cerebral palsy. Blood and urine tests may identify some of the more common congenital malfunctions of metabolism and brain imaging studies can detect structural changes in the brain. Physical and behavioral signs are also examined.

Expenses

The costs associated with treatment and maintenance for a child with cerebral palsy can be devastating to a family. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the average lifetime cost of a person with cerebral palsy is over $900,000. This does not account for out of pocket expenses like hospital care, equipment, medication, and housing modifications. By the end of a child’s life, the costs associated with the condition are exorbitant. If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy because of medical negligence, the medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Offices of Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt may be able to help. We have a particular interest in birth injury cases and we regularly obtain multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of families with children that have unnecessarily suffered as a result of medical negligence during the pregnancy or birthing process.

Treatment Centers

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but the condition does not worsen throughout the child’s life. Early and ongoing treatment can help reduce disabilities associated with cerebral palsy. Proper treatment can improve quality of life, enhance social and academic participation, increase strength, and prevent complications. Treatment focuses on allowing the individual to reach the highest possible level of independence. Depending on the needs and care of an individual child, the following options are available:

  • Physical and Occupational Therapy: Muscle training and exercise may improve strength, balance, and mobility, while tuning motor skills can guide a patient to live as independently as possible;
  • Speech Therapy: Speech therapists can assist the child with speech and language skills or introduce alternative means of communication;
  • Behavioral Therapy: Psychological techniques to improve physical, mental, and communicative skills may assist with behavioral and emotional problems;
  • Medication: Medications may relax tight muscles and minimize tremors and muscle spasms;
  • Orthotic Devices: Braces can improve muscle function and mobility; and
  • Surgery: Surgery may help loosen tight muscles or correct abnormalities.

Books & Resources

For more information on cerebral palsy, the following resources are available:

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