Cerebral palsy is a serious health problem that is often caused by medical malpractice during childbirth or labor. In short, this condition is caused by a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain. Unfortunately, this is often the result of a mistake by a medical professional.
Unlike some birth injuries, those that can be treated in a relatively fast and efficient manner, cerebral palsy will have a lifelong impact on the affected person as well as his or her family.
As a parent, you never want to hear that your child has cerebral palsy. However, if this happens, it’s imperative to seek assistance from a well-rounded and experienced medical team. This can include the following:
- Pediatrician. This doctor is responsible for regular check-ups and overseeing the child’s treatment plan and ongoing medical care.
- Pediatric neurologist. If your child has any type of neurological disorder, cerebral palsy included, it’s essential to find a qualified pediatric neurologist.
- Physical therapist. Due to the fact that cerebral palsy can cause serious muscle strength concerns, regular contact with a physical therapist is a must.
- Occupational therapist. It’s important for a child with cerebral palsy to develop daily skills that can help him or her live a normal life.
- Speech language pathologist. In many cases, cerebral palsy can result in speech and language challenges. This type of professional can help the child overcome these problems.
Along with the above, your pediatrician may suggest that you consult with the following: development therapist, recreation therapist, mental health specialist, social worker, and special education teacher.
Is medication an option?
With the help of your child’s pediatrician, you can decide if medication can help treat the side effects of cerebral palsy. For example, some medications have been proven effective in treating muscle tightness, thus allowing the child to have improved functional capabilities. There are also several medications available for treating any pain and discomfort associated with cerebral palsy.
In the event of generalized spasticity, for example, oral muscle relaxants are often prescribed. These include but are not limited to Dantrium, Gablofen, and Valium.
If you and/or your child faced serious issues during labor, it’s important to understand if this will have a long-term impact.
You hope that your child isn’t diagnosed with something as serious as cerebral palsy, but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later. In the event that the injury was caused by medical malpractice, you should also consider your legal options, as you may be able to receive compensation to help pay for medical bills and long-term expenses.