Cerebral Palsy

medical negligence

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors have detailed experience in dealing with cerebal palsy and other birth injury compensation claims. We will focus entirely on your needs by providing vigorous expert representation to ensure that you receive maximum damages for your medical negligence claim. Our experienced lawyers are able to deal with a wide range of birth injuries including cerebal palsy.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement that affects the posture and muscle tone, beginning in infancy or early childhood.  It is a direct result of brain damage of the muscular area of the brain.  Cerebral palsy can occur because of prenatal problems, problems that happen at the time of birth or problems that occur shortly after the infant is born.

It often takes a while for symptoms to show up; in fact, it can even take up to two years for the body to manifest the injury that took place long before.  When the symptoms show up, the parents and doctor will notice rigidity or floppiness of the muscles of the trunk and limbs, hyperactive reflexes, unsteady gait, a deformed posture and involuntary movements.  Each child with cerebral palsy has his or her own set of symptoms.  Some have a normal intellect while others do not. Others have visual deficits, hearing deficits or epilepsy.

Symptoms and signs of cerebral palsy depend somewhat on when the insult took place and include the following:

  • Rigid muscles
  • Spastic muscles
  • Floppy or stiff muscles
  • Involuntary movements
  • Incoordination of the muscles
  • Delay in reaching milestones
  • Tremors
  • Having slow, writhing body movements, called athetosis
  • Having difficulty walking
  • Having speech problems
  • Fine motor dysfunction
  • Favoring one side of the body over the other
  • Sucking or eating difficulty
  • Drooling
  • Speech delay

Cerebral palsy has the capacity to affect an arm or a leg, all extremities, half the body or even just three extremities. When the disease becomes established, it neither gets worse nor better.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a number of things.  Many are due to insults to the baby’s brain before it is born. Others suffer from birth asphyxia at the time of birth in a complicated or difficult delivery. Still others suffer brain damage due to child abuse early in life.  There can be a genetic mutation that affects brain development or infections the mother gets that travel to the uterus.  The fetal brain can sustain a stroke, causing cerebral palsy. Meningitis after birth can contribute to cerebral palsy.  Even a motor vehicle accident can affect the infant brain and can lead to cerebral palsy.

As the child grows, having cerebral palsy can result in complications occurring in childhood or adulthood. The child can be malnourished because of swallowing or eating difficulties.  This tends to be a worse problem in infancy, when the child must rely on his or her suck reflex. The child can develop contractures which leave the extremity in a permanently flexed position.  The joint is often deformed and can dislocate.  There can be lung problems from cerebral palsy.  The child may need to be on oxygen because of an inability to use the muscles of respiration.  People with cerebral palsy can suffer from depression due to their disabilities and social isolation.  Nerve impairment disorders can develop.  The joints are under a great deal of pressure so arthritis is a definite possibility.

Cerebral palsy patients have a number of disabilities—all stemming from a single insult that can occur prior to birth, at the time of birth or shortly after birth.  The actual symptoms take months to years to manifest themselves.

How can we help?

If you or a loved one suffered personal injury caused by a birth injury, please contact us to speak with one of our specialist solicitors who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights and options.

We offer free consultations for advice to find out whether you have a good case, how to go about claiming and how much your compensation might be worth. We will give you clear unequivocal advice about your chances of success and the anticipated value of your claim. If after talking to us you decide not to take your cerebal palsy compensation claim further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged anything at all.

For more information or to arrange a meeting freephone 1800 303 556 or email ascally@lavellesolicitors.ie

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.