The symptoms of cerebral palsy may be difficult to diagnose before the age of four or five.
Birth injuries that cause brain damage may lead to cerebral palsy, which is a lifelong condition affecting muscle control and coordination. The brain damage leading up to this condition could be a result of medical malpractice.
Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Some signs of cerebral palsy may be present right at the time of birth. The vast majority of children with cerebral palsy are diagnosed in the first two years of their life. However, if the symptoms are mild it may be difficult to diagnose the condition before the child turns four or five. If a doctor suspects that a child has cerebral palsy, the doctor will schedule an appointment to talk to the parents about the child’s development and to observe the child.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
To diagnose cerebral palsy, a doctor will evaluate the child’s motor skills and carefully examine the medical history. The doctor will look for the following symptoms:
- abnormal muscle tone
- delayed development
- unusual posture
Distinguishing Cerebral Palsy From Other Conditions
Cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition, even though the symptoms may change over time. If the child’s condition is worsening over time, the child may have other problems such as a muscle disease, nervous system tumors, or metabolic disorders. A doctor may have to order special diagnostic tests and examine the medical history to rule out other conditions.
Doctors often use neuroimaging techniques to detect abnormalities that may indicate a movement disorder. If the child has cerebral palsy, the imaging results will show the type and location of the brain damage. Common neuroimaging techniques include cranial ultrasound, computed tomography scan (CT scan), and magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI Scan). There are several conditions that mimic cerebral palsy. Coagulation disorders can cause perinatal or prenatal strokes, causing brain damage and symptoms similar to those of cerebral palsy.
Birth Injury Lawyers Chicago
Parents may have to consult a number of medical professionals with different specializations for a confirmed diagnosis. They may have to visit a developmental pediatrician, child neurologist, otologist, ophthalmologist, and other specialists. If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy is a result of a preventable birth injury, contact a Chicago cerebral palsy lawyer from Willens Law Offices. Call us at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.