Being told that your child has cerebral palsy is one of the most upsetting things to have to go through. Not understanding the condition and then suddenly being told that your baby has cerebral palsy can be devastating.
We do understand some of what you are going through and will do all we can to help you get some assistance in the form of cerebral palsy compensation for your child, to ensure that he or she is supported through their life, whatever challenges they face.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects movement and muscle tone. It is actually a term used to describe a whole spectrum of conditions. These conditions differ due to which part of the brain has been damaged.
There are three main types of cerebral palsy:
- Dyskinetic (also known as Athetoid or Dystonic)
No child is affected by cerebral palsy in the same way. It is barely noticeable in some children but severe in others.
There are also conditions associated with cerebral palsy such as epilepsy, behavioural issues, learning difficulties and others, which may affect your child as they grow.
Find out how common is cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland.
What are the Cerebral Palsy risk factors?
There are some risk factors that are associated with cerebral palsy. They are as follows:
- Low birth weight
- Infections during pregnancy
- Premature birth
- Multiple births
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) infertility treatments
What causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after labour. The damage occurs to the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscles. There are a number of reasons why a part of the baby’s brain could be injured or fails to develop as expected. These include the following:
- Infection in the early part of pregnancy e.g. meningitis
- Abnormal brain development
- Oxygen deprivation to the brain
- Bleeding into the brain
- Restricted intrauterine growth
- Neonatal stroke
- Blood conditions such as rare abnormalities of platelets
- Genetic link
The brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy that occurs before or during birth is called congenital cerebral palsy. Around 85%–90% of cerebral palsy is congenital. A much smaller proportion of cerebral palsy occurs from brain damage that occurs 28 days after birth, which is called Acquired Cerebral Palsy.
Congenital Cerebral Palsy
Some cerebral palsy occurs due to damage to the brain before birth. The main causes are:
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) – reduces the child’s blood supply and deprives their brain of oxygen, damaging brain cells.
- Abnormal development of brain
- Intracranial haemorrhage – bleeding in the brain
Birth complications can result in brain damage. These include problems with the umbilical cord cutting off oxygen supply to the baby, detachment of the placenta, and uterine rupture.
Acquired Cerebral Palsy
Some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by damage to the brain that occurs after birth.
Damage can be caused after birth by an infection of the brain such as meningitis or encephalitis or as the result of a head injury. Acquired cerebral palsy can be prevented by ensuring that your baby is checked by doctors for jaundice. This is because severe jaundice can lead to kernicterus.
What is Cerebral Palsy Negligence?
If the medical professionals who worked with you and your child were negligent and as a result your child suffered a brain injury that caused their cerebral palsy then you should have a case for cerebral palsy negligence. If the midwives, doctors, obstetricians or any other member of the maternity staff neglected their duty of care at any stage then you may be able to claim for cerebral palsy compensation. There are a number of points at each stage in the pregnancy where negligence can occur. They are as follows:
- Failing to act swiftly to remove a baby with a twisted umbilical cord
- Failing to deliver a child when there are indications of stress
- Failing to monitor and recognise issues with the baby’s heart rate
- Complications at birth leading to oxygen deprivation
Cerebral palsy may also be caused after birth through negligence. These include the following:
- Failing to diagnose or treat bowel obstructions
- Failing to diagnose or treat of an infection such as meningitis
- Failing to diagnose or treat severe jaundice that can lead to Kernicterus.
How can we help with your cerebral palsy claim in Northern Ireland?
We understand that you want to help your child and provide all the care and support they require. We can help you claim for financial compensation for medical negligence so that you have the money to cover all of your child’s needs for their lifetime. Read more on making a claim here.
Our firm of Northern Ireland solicitors has been in operation for over 40 years and we can help you obtain the best outcome for your child, should you wish to claim for cerebral palsy compensation. We will acquire all the necessary medical information required including an independent expert medical report to assess any negligence claim as well as offer cerebral palsy legal advice.
We will offer you a Free Initial Claims Assessment where we will listen carefully to the details of your situation and then talk to you in detail about where you stand legally.
We will talk to you clearly in easy to understand language and not bombard you with jargon. We will also take the time to explain every detail about making a claim for cerebral palsy and answer any questions you may have.
What will it cost to make a claim?
We can advise you fully on what the options are regarding funding, and we will be able to tell you what we think is the best funding option is for you.
Contact us now for a Free Initial Claims Assessment
Please call us today on 0800 020 9311 to make arrangement for a Free Initial Claims Assessment with us or to discuss making a cerebral palsy claim Northern Ireland.
If you would prefer to make an enquiry online, you can complete our Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.