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How could cerebral palsy affect my child and me?

The birth of a child should be a momentous and joyous event in your life, as well as the lives of those who love and support you. In fact, many Massachusetts families, like yours, eagerly await the new addition, and make many plans for the child to come. Yet, despite all the planning, the health of your newborn baby is often dependent on decisions made by medical professionals at the time of delivery. Though many births are successful, resulting in an injury-free event, far too many still result in birth injuries.

One common type of birth injury is cerebral palsy. This movement-affecting disorder is caused by damage to the brain, sometimes as a result of a lack of oxygen prior to birth. The effects of the medical condition can be severe, lasting a lifetime. Victims might have trouble swallowing, a reduced range of motion, an inability to walk, an intellectual disability, blindness, deafness or epilepsy. The effects that may befall your child may differ in severity and extent depending on the circumstances.

Treating cerebral palsy can be expensive and emotionally trying. Long-term care is often necessary, and it can be heartbreaking to know that your child may never live what many consider a normal life. You may find yourself angry, too, particularly if your child's injury was caused by doctor error.

If your child was harmed by the mistakes of medical professionals, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. A personal injury attorney might be of some assistance, helping you assess the facts of your case, the applicable standard of care, and whether that standard was upheld. If a claim is successful, you may recover compensation. Though this might not allow your child to fully regain his or her health, it might go a long way towards helping you afford the care your child needs.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Cerebral palsy," accessed on May 8, 2015

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