What is Cerebral Palsy?
“Your child has cerebral palsy.” These are some of the most terrifying words a parent can hear. Questions fill your head about how this happened? What does it mean? What is the future?
Cerebral palsy is a broad term that captures a wide spectrum injuries or neurological diagnoses. Just as there are a wide range of symptoms, there can be a wide range of causes. Injuries that occur at birth are an extremely common cause of cerebral palsy, and parents have every reason to investigate if their child’s brain damage was preventable had medical providers acted appropriately.
When a child becomes diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it fairly raises questions for parents rather than final answers:
- What nature of the neurological injury does my child suffer?
- The areas of the brain have been affected?
- Impairments should I expect?
- Will the limitations be ones of what they are physically able to do?
- Will the affect the cognitive abilities of my child in the future?
Many of these answers actually depend on what caused the brain injury, and whether medical negligence was involved. For example, had the baby deprived of oxygen during the birthing process? For how long? At what stage of labor did the injuries occur? What structures in the brain have been affected? The answer to each of these helps a parent both understand the nature of their child’s injury and also the cause of that injury. If malpractice is a contributing cause of the brain injury, you can have a legal claim against those responsible.
Unfortunately, doctors will rarely answer these questions. Neonatologists and pediatric neurologists rarely want to discuss with parents the exact cause of their child’s injury and whether it was preventable. That is why parents have every right to ask for their medical records so someone will review them with a willingness to answer their questions.
The birth records or nursery records can answer volumes of parent’s questions when reviewed by someone willing to answer. The fetal monitoring data during labor, the nursing labor and delivery records, the obstetrician’s progress notes and delivery records, the neonatology records from the nursery, and the radiologic images of the child’s brain all can help you understand exactly what happened, how, and why. This helps parent understand both that the neurologic condition of their child is not their fault, despite what the physicians may suggest, but also tell them who actually is at fault and how to hold them accountable.
Perdue & Kidd has full time staff dedicated to review – at no cost to you – the medical records of any child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a birth injury, birth trauma, or any spectrum of neurologic injury diagnosed in the first two years of life. Finally, as parents ourselves, we know how precious every child is and how much responsibility these types of cases are. That is why we remain committed to providing free consultations on any case involving injury to a child. We take on these difficult cases without hesitation, and answering the questions for caring parents: What can be done?