Kentucky Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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As you were planning for the birth of your child, you probably spent a great deal of time imagining what it would be like to play catch or soccer with your child, what it would be like to teach him or her how to ride a bike, and how he or she would run and play with friends. You envisioned a picture of health. What you probably never imagined was having to feed your 10-year-old daughter mashed vegetables, or having to change your 8-year-old son's diapers, nor did you imagine a child having trouble walking and running in his or her teens. You also probably never thought much about the possibility of your child receiving physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy for an extended duration.

Unfortunately, if your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP), it is likely that some of these things you never envisioned could become a reality. Cerebral palsy varies in its severity, but can be quite debilitating. In its milder forms, it may affect the movement and range of motion of only one hand. In its most severe form, it can render patients almost entirely immobile. Some people with CP may also have difficulty speaking or feeding themselves. Many individuals with CP may be confined to a wheelchair.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a term that refers to a condition, or group of conditions, that are chronic neurological disorders. The neurological disorders appear in infancy or early childhood and can effect a child's movement, posture, and muscle coordination. Most children diagnosed with cerebral palsy are born with it; however, it may not be detected in an infant until a few months after birth or in early childhood.

Early signs of cerebral palsy include a lack of muscle coordination when trying to perform voluntary movements, such as moving a hand, arm, leg, or foot or retrieving a toy. In addition, young children with cerebral palsy may display stiff or tight muscles, as well as exaggerated reflexes. They may also drag their feet and legs or walk on their toes. Cerebral palsy may also cause speech, hearing, or visual impairments, as well as learning disabilities.

What may lead to cerebral palsy?

Congenital cerebral palsy accounts for approximately 70 percent of cerebral palsy cases; the cause of most of these cases is unknown. Risk factors that may contribute to this type of cerebral palsy include, but are not limited to:

a mother's development of an infection during pregnancy
a mother's contraction of an illness, such as measles, during pregnancy
an incompatibility between a mother and fetus's blood types
medication or drugs administered to a mother during pregnancy
lack of prenatal care

Approximately 10 percent of cerebral diagnoses are cases in which cerebral palsy was acquired after birth. This can occur as a result of brain damage in the first few months of life, from brain infection or from a brain injury in a car accident, fall, or child abuse.

An additional 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases may be related to brain injury that occurred during the birthing process. Asphyxia (a lack of oxygen to the brain) or brain injury that results in bleeding may lead to the development of cerebral palsy. Asphyxia may occur from a premature separation of the placenta, strangulation by the umbilical cord, or other complications. Bleeding of the brain may come from pressure related to a vaginal delivery or some sort of trauma during the birth process.

Why might you need to contact a Kentucky medical malpractice attorney?

Doctors and medical professionals typically take every measure they can to avoid complications during labor. They will set up monitoring devices to monitor the fetus and the mother, and check in on their patients regularly. These precautions significantly reduce the risk of cerebral palsy from birthing complications.

Regardless of the precautions that medical professionals take, there are still chances of mistakes or errors occurring during labor that can lead to cerebral palsy. For instance, a doctor may misread a fetal monitor, missing a sign that a caesarean section should be performed, or any number of other possible scenarios.

Birth injury medical negligence cases are challenging and may be difficult to prove. To make a claim that will hold up legally, an attorney must prove that there was a breach in the standard of care, causation, injury, and damages. An attorney who is familiar with Kentucky medical malpractice law will be able to guide you through the legal process, assess your case to determine whether or not you can make a claim, and pursue compensation and justice.


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