Alaska Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is defined as a congenital disorder, arising from damage to the brain before during, or directly after birth. It can also sometimes happen within the first three years of a child's life. However, most instances of brain damage occur during pregnancy and through the birthing process. The first type of CP is identified by a child's inability to move. It is classified as Spastic Cerebral Palsy. The second, called Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, is diagnosed in a child who has sporadic, uncontrolled and involuntary movements. The third form of CP is known as Ataxic Cerebral Palsy. In this form, the child lacks depth perception and has an uncoordinated sense of balance. Many children have a mix of all three types, making them vulnerable to other learning, cognitive, and physical disabilities. Most CP children, for example, have regular fits of seizures and poor eyesight because brain injuries damage the optic nerves.

While one definitive cause of CP is unknown, researchers agree that the condition is caused by damage to the brain. Lack of prenatal care is a major cause, as complications with the developing fetus, such as malnutrition and infections, may go unnoticed. At times, medical malpractice is the cause of such inadequate prenatal care, which can often be hard to determine. CP is also common among premature babies because time spent in the womb was insufficient for proper development. Moreover, premature babies are particularly sensitive to complications after birth, since they are so vulnerable to toxins. The birth process, itself, can be damaging to the baby, causing irreversible consequences.

Most cases of CP develop during pregnancy or just after birth. In some children, the disorder's symptoms are discovered in a child's first three years of life. Women who do not receive prenatal exams stand a particularly high risk of having a baby afflicted with this disorder. Sometimes, obstetrical complications arise during difficult labors, and errors can happen, leaving a child with brain injuries and a higher likelihood of developing CP.

Diagnoses of CP later in a child's life are often indicators of abuse. Shaken baby syndrome is a brain trauma inflicted on children, typically under two years of age when neck muscles are still very weak. The baby is shaken violently, causing the brain to hit the sides of the skull. Bruising, swelling, and hemorrhaging of the brain occur, and a child is likely to develop CP as a result of this abuse. A car accident causing trauma to the head is another possible cause of CP, but is much less likely to occur.

While there is no known cure for this disorder, there are plenty of treatments available that can minimize symptoms and help a child experience success in the future. Physical therapists are likely to work with your child to increase gross motor skills and define muscle tone. The goal of this type of therapy is to increase the child's control over mobility. Many children with CP experience fine motor skill deficiencies as well. Therefore, occupational therapy is often required. The sooner therapy is provided, the better, since children with CP typically experience writing difficulties in school. If posture and coordination are severely lacking, your child is likely to be referred to a speech therapist to work on these skills.

If you feel that your child has been victimized by negligent behaviors or other instances of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses and distress. It is important to act quickly because statutes of limitations laws prohibit legal claims after a certain amount of time has lapsed. Alaska's state laws concerning medical malpractice lawsuits state that these claims must be filed within two years of the incident. To protect patients, Alaska does enforce the discovery rule, which upholds that special conditions can be made if a person does not detect the disorder until a later date. Moreover, under this clause, the two year time frame begins once the disorder has been diagnosed, giving the individual a reasonable amount of time to file charges. Even under these special circumstances, an attorney must be contacted immediately. The longer one waits to lodge complaints, the more difficult it is to hold a specific person responsible.

Adaptive equipment, technology, prescription drugs, and therapy are costly requirements, forcing families into difficult situations when they are unable to pay. When your child\'s CP is the result of medical errors, and nothing was done to relieve them, you can hold responsible parties liable. When your child\'s health and well-being are at stake, you must take appropriate action.


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