Nebraska Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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When your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) it can be a stressful time for you and your family. Cerebral palsy is a series of neurological disorders for which there is currently no known cure. It typically requires medical treatment and various therapies throughout an individual's lifetime to manage it. CP presents people with a lifelong challenge that affects children and families. By educating yourself and finding means of support and assistance, you can learn how to manage cerebral palsy and take more control over how it affects your life and your child's life.

What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) 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. While cerebral palsy affects an individual's muscle coordination, it does not actually occur in the muscles, but rather is a condition that effects the parts of the brain that control motor function 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 or legs or walk on their toes. Cerebral palsy may also cause speech, hearing, or sight impairments, as well as learning disabilities.

What are the causes of 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' blood types
medication or drugs administered to a mother during pregnancy
lack of prenatal care

Approximately 10 percent of cerebral palsy 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.

When might it be necessary to seek legal consult?
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 complication during labor necessitates a quick delivery (within 10 minutes or less) to avoid brain injury. Typically, babies in these situations are delivered using a caesarean section. However, there may be times when a doctor may not perform a caesarean section quickly enough, resulting in brain injury and potentially, cerebral palsy. In addition, there are chances, however small, that an infant may suffer from trauma to the head during injury that can lead to brain injury and cerebral palsy.

In the event that you suspect your child developed brain injury as the result of medical negligence, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a Nebraska attorney specializing in medical negligence and birth injury cases.

Birth injury medical negligence cases are challenging and 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. A lawyer who is well-versed in Nebraska 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 justice.


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