As children and even as adults, people often take for granted the ability to live everyday life without undue hardship. For children and adults with Cerebral Palsy, however, everyday life is often anything but ordinary. There are countless challenges that those with Cerebral Palsy in Massachusetts must face on a near-constant basis. Since Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is often caused by some form of birth injury, knowing that the condition may have been preventable only adds to the difficulty of living life with this disorder.
Some may find it surprising to learn that CP is actually a broad term which designates a group of disorders involving damage to a developing brain. As a result of CP, those who have it experience varying degrees of difficulty with movement. While some may think birth injuries are largely a problem of the past, the truth is that CP is actually one of the most prevalent causes behind chronic disabilities in childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CP is the number one childhood motor disability.
How many children have CP? The CDC notes that about one out of every 323 children has one of the “palsies” that fall under the label of CP. According to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, it is estimated that over 764,000 Americans have CP. In addition, roughly 10,000 infants receive a CP diagnosis every year. This means that thousands of families must cope with the impact of this diagnosis, as it is often felt emotionally, mentally and financially for parents of babies with CP.
What causes CP and how can its prevalence be lowered? Some of the more well-known causes of CP include damage to a baby’s brain during birth; this critical error during delivery can have a devastating effect on a newborn’s development. Infections and low supplies of oxygen to the baby, both of which can be other forms of doctor error, can also cause CP.
Worcester families who have a child with CP likely face far more challenges than the average family. If their child’s condition was caused by a doctor’s negligence, the family may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and the child’s rehabilitation. Speaking with a medical malpractice attorney can be a first step toward resolution for families affected by CP.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Data & statistics for cerebral palsy,” accessed Sep. 19, 2015