Information for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy

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LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Are you the parent of a child with a disability? Did you know that medical malpractice could be the cause?

Was your child's birth injury caused by nature or medical malpractice? We can investigate.

Our law firm concentrates on the litigation of birth injuries nationwide. With an OBGYN, labor/delivery nurse and other experienced medical and legal professionals representing your rights, the MEDLAW Legal Team offers families and children the resources and experience necessary to successfully litigate healthcare negligence claims.

Our medical malpractice attorneys focus on the representation of families whose children have developed a disability as a result of negligent medical care.

877-692-3862

 
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis & Characteristics

Brain ScanThe characteristics of cerebral palsy may vary widely between individuals depending on the degree and location of brain damage. Symptoms may range from mild to severe, and diagnostic techniques can help determine the extent of the condition.

Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis


Risk Factors
Risk factors are variables that have been observed to have an effect on the diagnosis of medical conditions. Risk factors do not, by themselves, indicate that a condition will occur, nor does the lack of a risk factor mean that a condition will not occur. The presence of risk factors may simply point to an increased likelihood, not a certainty, for the development of cerebral palsy.

Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy


Symptoms
Cerebral palsy syndromes are grouped into four main categories: spastic, athetoid, ataxic, and mixed forms. Each type of cerebral palsy is characterized by different symptoms.

It is important to realize that the presence of any of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate your child has cerebral palsy. Children develop on different timeframes, and symptoms are often outgrown. Only your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and provide you with the information you need to care for your child.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms


Diagnosis
PediatricianThe diagnosis of cerebral palsy includes the consideration and monitoring of many factors, and may not be made until after the first or second years of development. A child's brain and central nervous system have an amazing ability to recover completely, or partially, following injury - this sometimes leads to a delay in diagnosis. In addition, children develop at different rates, and motor skill difficulties can frequently be signs of other problems - misdirecting diagnosis. In most cases, an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals will be gathered to review the child's strengths and weaknesses, test results, risk factors and medical history. Based on these numerous criteria, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may be made.

Several tests can be used to assist in the diagnosis, and determine the severity of cerebral palsy:

  • Intelligence tests often are administered to a child with CP to evaluate mental impairment;
     
  • An electroencephalogram (EEG) traces electrical activity in the brain and can reveal patterns that suggest a seizure disorder;
     
  • Imaging tests are helpful in diagnosing hydrocephalus, structural abnormalities, and tumors. This information can help the physician assess the child's long-term prognosis;
     
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures of the internal structures of the brain. This study is performed on older children. It defines abnormalities of white matter and motor cortex more clearly than other methods.

    More Information

    Cerebral palsy diagnosis depends on many factors, a team of medical professionals can make an accurate diagnosis, and assist in determining a long-term prognosis for the child. While a medical diagnosis can be determined, often what caused the cerebral palsy cannot be, click here to learn more about the possible causes of CP.
     


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