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What is cerebral palsy?


Mississippi residents who are about to give birth to a child may have a lot of excitement, but also a lot of fear. They may be concerned about the safety of their child during the birthing process, hoping that the baby boy or girl will be born without any issue. Unfortunately, though, far too often children are subjected to birth injuries, with cerebral palsy being one of the most serious. But what, exactly, is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder, often caused by damage to the brain, which impacts movement, muscle tone, and motor skills. In addition, cerebral palsy may lead to other serious complications, including impaired vision, learning difficulties, and speech issues. Tragically, there is no cure for this disorder, and sufferers often need extensive long-term care and rehabilitation.

There are three types of cerebral palsy, all of which can cause devastating disability. The spastic form of cerebral palsy can leave a sufferer stiff, facing difficulty moving, athetoid cerebral palsy can cause uncontrolled and often involuntary movements, and the ataxic form affects balance and the perception of depth.

The brain damage that causes cerebral palsy can occur in a variety of ways. However, one of the most common is by doctor error during birth. When a medical error deprives a baby of oxygen, the subsequent brain damage can cause cerebral palsy. If this happens, then the child's parents may be able to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the errant doctors, nurses, and/or hospital. Though a successful claim may not make a child whole again, compensation, if recovered, can go a long way towards helping a family pay medical expenses and ensure that their child receives the care that he or she desperately needs and deserves.

Source: KidsHealth, "Cerebral Palsy," accessed on Jan. 18, 2014

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