Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that results from brain damage, including brain damage resulting from the negligence of physicians and medical professionals during the delivery process. As a condition that causes permanent movement impairment, cerebral palsy can create a lifetime of limitations and difficulties for victims, as well as for their families. In addition to the many unique issues people cerebral palsy will face throughout their life, families are often concerned how the condition will impact their lifespan.
At Beam Legal Team, our birth injury lawyers have handled cases involving cerebral palsy throughout the United States. We understand the nature of the condition, and that while it may or may not influence the lifespan of a child, it can create a lifetime of difficulties and even certain health consequences. We take the long-term impact of the condition and its impact on victims and their families into account when we handle these cases, as securing full and fair compensation is essential to helping victims live productive lives.
Here are a few things to know about cerebral palsy, its impact on a child’s health, and long-term consequences that relate to life expectancy.
- Cerebral palsy is non-progressive – Cerebral palsy is characterized by damage in the areas of the brain responsible for motor and muscle control. It is a non-progressive condition, although limitations such as contractures and muscle loss may be impacted over time. In a previous blog, we discussed how cerebral can create unique health concerns as a child ages, some of which may impact their life expectancy.
- CP can range in severity – Cerebral palsy can range in severity, largely depending on which area of the brain was affected and how much brain damage occurred. This means that children with more severe cases can experience greater difficulties with balance, coordination, voluntary and involuntary movement, and muscle tone. For example, spastic quadriplegia is a condition that affects a child’s arms and legs, which can lead to decreased mobility and activity, and therefore have adverse health consequences that may result in a shorter lifespan.
- Other conditions may accompany CP – While cerebral palsy does not cause other disabilities, it can be accompanied by serious conditions such as mental impairments that can adversely impact life expectancy. These issues include intellectual or vision impairment, epilepsy, eating difficulties, and an inability to walk. Children born with these severe disabilities may face greater limitations in life, and may not live as long as children with mild cerebral palsy alone.
Some literature on cerebral palsy and life expectancy indicates that with excellent long-term care and treatment, many children with CP will have a normal life expectancy. Researchers have also indicated that treatment is a significant factor in improving quality of life and life expectancy. This is why it is so critical to ensure that victims receive full compensation to cover future medical needs as they age.
If you have questions regarding cerebral palsy, birth injuries, and your rights, contact our firm today for a free consultation.