Friday, July 15, 2011

What Are the Causes Of And Treatments For Cerebral Palsy?

at 4:41 PM

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a medical term used by doctors to describe a set a of neurological conditions that affect children, most notably a child's co-ordination and movement by affecting the nervous system and brain. It is caused by damage to the brain, usually during or just after birth but also possibly before.

The known causes include a difficult or premature birth, bleeding in the brain of the child, infection in early pregnancy or abnormalities in the child's brain. There are many more potential causes, some of which can happen naturally and some which can occur due to medical negligence, especially during birth. If a birth is particularly difficult and handled badly then the child can become starved of oxygen which causes damage to the brain and, in turn, cerebral palsy.

Though this is rare, it does happen and parents of the child are entitled to make cerebral palsy compensation claims through a medical negligence solicitor. This can often mean suing the NHS which brings about moral questions in itself. More information on this can be found on the internet.

CP affects approximately one in every 400 children born in the UK and the symptoms of cerebral palsy are many and varied. In addition to varying degrees of physical disability such as difficulty in walking and general movement, symptoms can include epilepsy, learning difficulties, incontinence, visual and / or hearing impairment, difficulty in speaking or understanding others, delayed growth, curvature of the spine and drooling. CP can manifest itself in a number of other ways too, making it one of the most devestating conditions for the sufferer and their families.

With approximately 1,800 babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year in the UK it is not an uncommon condition and while there is no cure there are a number of treatments that can ease the suffering and alleviate certain conditions that derive from it. It should be noted at this point that cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition. It will not get worse as a child gets older, but it can have a serious impact on their lives depending on the severity.

Should a child be diagnosed with cerebral palsy they and the family will be introduced to a team of health professionals to provide care. The team could include a pediatrician, health visitor, social worker, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and / or educational psychologist - it will depend on the symptoms experienced by the child and the type of care it requires.

A care plan will be drawn up between the team and the family to address the needs of the child and will be continually reassessed as the child grows up so adjustments can be made as needs change.

As the child grows up the family's first point of contact is likely to be the health visitor with the rest of the professionals providing treatment as required. Once the child is older and his or her needs become different, possibly more complex, the first point of contact will become the social worker, though treatment will still be given as required by some or all of the professional team.

Cerebral palsy is a devastating condition but there is help available and, if necessary, legal routes to take to claim cerebral palsy compensation should negligence have taken place to cause it, which will help pay for that help.

Ian Grainger is writing on behalf of Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors, experts in medical negligence including cerebral palsy compensation claims.

Article Source