What are some signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?

For Pittsburgh parents the birth of a baby is the highlight of their lives. This much anticipated event brings much joy and purpose to the family. But occasionally the birth can be clouded in unexpected sorrow when a birth injury affects the newborn.

One birth injury that can occur with a newborn is cerebral palsy. It is a movement disorder that causes impaired movement and other problems with functional abilities. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage. It can occur from random mutations, maternal infections and other illnesses, fetal stroke, lack of oxygen during delivery and other circumstances.

There are many symptoms of cerebral palsy. These can include stiff muscles, lack of coordination, tremors, favoring one side of the body, differences in muscle tone, excessive drooling, problems with sucking or swallowing, delays in speech development or motor skills development, along with many others. People with cerebral palsy may also not be able to walk and may have intellectual disabilities.

Parents who believe their baby is suffering from cerebral palsy because of a birth injury may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can review medical records, consult with experts, and help determine what happened to cause the injury.

Cerebral palsy can have lifetime complications and require years of therapy and other medical interventions. If the cerebral palsy was caused by a negligent medical provider they can be held accountable. Compensation may be available for medical expense, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Source: Mayo Clinic, “Cerebral palsy,” accessed on Jan. 20, 2015