The range of long-term cerebral palsy effects is often very difficult to predict. CPt is a chronic condition that affects each child uniquely. While some victims experience problems with motor coordination only, others may endure issues with cognitive development that can affect their quality of life and make caring for themselves impossible.
Symptoms to Watch For
The symptoms exhibited by a child with cerebral palsy are determined by the amount of brain damage, specifically the location and size of the area affected by oxygen deprivation or physical trauma. Nearly 80% of children with cerebral palsy show some form of symptoms during the first month of life, but many children go undiagnosed until age 2 or later.
A proper cerebral palsy diagnosis will include observation of the child plus a review of the pregnancy history, labor, and delivery. Your physician will look for motor coordination problems, abnormal neurological activity, lack of reflex development, and postural issues. If you notice any of the following signs of cerebral palsy birth injury, please contact a doctor right away.
- Bluish skin color
- Poor head control
- Breathing irregularities or halted breathing
- Hypotonic condition (inability to make arms or legs rigid due to poor muscle tone)
- Hypertonic condition (unusually stiff or rigid arms and legs)
- Delayed development (infant does not sit-up, crawl, walk, etc.)
- Lack of coordination development when crawling or walking
- Trouble swallowing
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty holding objects or using them
- Trouble completing age-related activities, such as throwing a ball, holding a fork, riding a bike, etc.
- Jerking of the extremities or torso
- Weak muscles
- Poor tongue control
- Delayed or nonexistent sucking reflex
Cerebral Palsy Causes
Cerebral palsy results from either physical head trauma or lack of oxygen to the brain. You may have a medical malpractice claim if any of the following causes led directly to your child’s cerebral palsy:
- Use of excessive force with hands, vacuum extraction, or forceps extraction
- Delayed diagnosis of complications
- Failure to diagnose complications
- Failure to remove baby from the birth canal in a timely manner
- Failure to treat the baby’s heart rate abnormalities
- Failure to order a C-section delivery
- Failure to respond to umbilical cord abnormalities
- Failure to follow proper protocol for an oversized, premature, underweight, or breech baby
- Failure to recognize or treat infection in the mother or baby