Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

Diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be a long and complicated process. There is not a single test that can conclusively identify cerebral palsy. Many of the symptoms of cerebral palsy, such as developmental delays, are shared with other conditions, so determining the cause of the problem can take a long time and a wide variety of tests and observations.

The first indication of cerebral palsy usually occurs when the child misses developmental milestones like walking and talking. But because children develop at their own rates, a definitive diagnosis might not be made until the child is two to five years old.

Cerebral palsy is the result of brain damage. In some cases, it is caused by brain damage as the result of a birth injury.

Signs that may point to a diagnosis cerebral palsy

Signs that a child may have cerebral palsy include:

  •  not meeting developmental milestones such as sitting up, crawling, or walking
  • erratic or jerky movement of the arms and legs
  • impaired balance or coordination
  • difficulty with eating or talking
  • slow growth or excessive weight gain.

In order to diagnose cerebral palsy, doctors may use clinical observation, analysis of the child’s motor skills, and neurological testing such as MRI scans and CT tests in order to ascertain the location and severity of brain damage. In addition, doctors may do genetic testing and analyze the parents’ medical histories in order to rule out other potential causes of symptoms, such as genetic diseases, nervous disorders, or muscle disorders.

Medical malpractice and cerebral palsy

If a child’s cerebral palsy was caused by malpractice – for example, if the physician attending the birth failed to recognize fetal distress, did not perform an emergency C-section in a timely manner, or did not follow proper protocol in an emergency situation such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain) – the parents and child may be eligible to receive compensation for the child’s injuries by means of a cerebral palsy lawsuit claiming the injury was caused by malpractice.

If your child has suffered a birth injury because of a doctor’s malpractice or negligence during labor or delivery, it is advisable to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney. The legal team at Balkin & Eisbrouch has decades of experience and expertise in litigating birth injury and malpractice suits. When you call, you will receive a free evaluation of your case with no obligation. We are committed to seeking justice and restitution for your child’s pain and suffering, injuries, and medical expenses. There is no cost to you unless we win you a settlement.