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Stockton Cerebral Palsy Attorney

The term cerebral palsy- is to a motor coordination problem due to an injury to the brain, which controls both voluntary movement and coordination.

It is characterized by either weakness or stiffness of the arms and legs and can be associated with seizures and/or some degree of mental retardation. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, based on either a description of the effect on the child’s movement or the area of the brain that is affected.

The overall incidence of cerebral palsy is reported to be about 2.5 per 1,000 live births in the U.S. The most common reason or cause for cerebral palsy is prematurity, where the baby is delivered before the brain is fully developed. Babies who are born prematurely in the range of 26-30 weeks gestational age have a significantly increased risk of developing cerebral palsy.

However, babies born at term less than 37 weeks may also develop cerebral palsy if there is significant hypoxia or asphyxia associated with the delivery. Because any degree or type of cerebral palsy can have lifelong consequences to both the baby and the family, any circumstance when a baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy requires a careful investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the labor and delivery to determine if the hypoxia or asphyxia could have been prevented.

In many cases, evidence in the medical records, including the fetal monitor strip, will show significant problems during labor that should have led to an earlier delivery that could have prevented the outcome of cerebral palsy.

The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is generally made after birth, when there is evidence of either developmental delay or a movement disorder. Although many babies who are born severely asphyxiated at birth, and who demonstrate problems with feeding and/or have seizures, will clearly develop a full picture of cerebral palsy, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that its members do not diagnose a child with cerebral palsy before age two.

Many children who have or will show all of the clinical signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy, do not get officially diagnosed until after age two, and they may not qualify for some public programs and benefits which require a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

If you or a loved one is suffering from cerebral palsy in Stockton, give our experienced attorneys a call. We will defend your rights.