Birth Injury Claims
Cerebral Palsy Claims
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What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a term that describes a group of conditions caused by an injury to the developing brain. It occurs before, during or shortly after delivery. Typically, it affects movement, coordination and posture. Cerebral Palsy symptoms vary greatly depending on how the brain has been damaged and can include difficulties with walking, problems with speech, and learning difficulties. Types of Cerebral Palsy include Spastic Hemiplegia, Spastic Diplegia, Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, Athetoid (Dyskinetic) Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia.
How is Cerebral Palsy in babies caused?
Cerebral Palsy can occur due to a problem affecting the baby's brain development in the womb, often as a result of a reduction in the supply of oxygen or blood to the baby’s brain.
It can also be caused by the baby suffering a stroke, or because the mother contracted an infection such as chickenpox or rubella during her pregnancy.
During or after the birth, cerebral palsy can be caused by a temporary lack of oxygen to the baby, a head injury, stroke or meningitis, or another brain infection.
Babies born before 37 weeks are more at risk of Cerebral Palsy because their brains are less developed and their risk of infection is higher than those born at full-term.
Cerebral Palsy is non-progressive, which means that it will not get worse with age. There is currently no known cure. However, there are treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms associated with the condition.
How is Cerebral Palsy diagnosed?
If your child is unwell from birth, or does not meet their milestones, they may be referred to a paediatrician who will arrange for any necessary tests, such as an MRI scan. The paediatrician will then advise if other referrals are appropriate, such as to a physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, or to an educational psychologist.
Once a diagnosis has been made, if avoidable damage was caused to the brain during the child’s birth or during the mother's antenatal care, then they may be eligible to make a Cerebral Palsy claim.
If your child has suffered from avoidable brain damage, talk to us about your next steps.