Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders that impact an individual’s movement, balance, and posture. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CP is the most common childhood motor disability. Cerebral refers to the brain, whereas palsy refers to weakness or muscle difficulties. Abnormal brain development or damage during the brain’s development in the areas that impact movement and muscle control.

If you have noticed symptoms in your child, you might be wondering about cerebral palsy diagnosis and treatment in Michigan, as well as your child’s prognosis and life expectancy. Furthermore, you might be wondering if you have any legal recourse to help pay for medical bills, extended care, and the numerous other associated costs. By speaking with a well-practiced lawyer, you could better understand your options and determine if legal action is right for you.

Most Common Symptoms

Sometimes, diagnosing cerebral palsy is difficult. This is because the symptoms can vary greatly from one person to the next. For instance, some people are unable to walk without the use of specialized equipment and need lifelong care, while other CP patients may require no assistance at all. As a result, forming a prognosis is also usually difficult.

Although cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease, the symptoms can change as the individual gets older. However, problems with movement and posture are present in virtually all people with CP. Furthermore, they may also have related conditions such as intellectual disabilities, vision, hearing, or speech problems, changes in the spine, such as scoliosis, and joint problems, such as contractures. Additionally, diagnosis of cerebral palsy for babies and children in Michigan are often based a variety of symptoms. These include:

  • A child’s head lagging when picked up
  • A baby feeling floppy or stiff—including stiff legs that cross when they are picked up
  • A child with an overextended back and neck

By recognizing these signs, a parent might be able to better establish a prognosis for their child and determine how to proceed.

Recognizing and Treating Cerebral Palsy

The early diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy might help to improve a child’s prognosis. Diagnosis is usually made by monitoring growth and development over time. If there are concerns, the child is then tested and screen by several clinicians such as child neurologists, pediatric psychiatrists, or pediatric rehabilitation doctors.

While cerebral palsy does not have a cure, with treatment and intervention, people with this condition could live comfortable and productive lives in Michigan. Because there is no single treatment that is best for all patients, however, an individualized treatment plan involving multiple treatments is usually the best approach. This might include:

  • Medicines
  • Surgery
  • Braces
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies
  • Communication devices

The Costs and Life Expectancy of CP

In addition to the emotional, mental, and physical toll cerebral palsy can have on both the individual and their family, the financial cost is also often a burden. The costs are high for individuals with cerebral, especially those with more severe cases who need more complex care.

The most recent studies from the CDC show that over their lifetime, CP will cost a significant sum for medical costs, special education, home or vehicle modifications, and indirect expenses—such as lost productivity at work and premature mortality.

Life expectancy for an individual with cerebral is dependent upon the severity of the condition and other conditions that may impact their health. Generally, however, patients with CP have a life expectancy of 30 to 70 years. Due to this, diagnosing cerebral palsy and beginning treatment as soon as possible is often essential for Michigan residents.

Legal Help with Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment

While cerebral palsy can occur for a variety of reasons, it is sometimes caused by malpractice during pregnancy or at birth. No matter the circumstances, discussing cerebral palsy diagnosis and treatment with a compassionate and knowledgeable Michigan lawyer might prove to be beneficial.

By discussing your legal options and rights, you could consider how to best proceed. To discuss your situation further, reaching out to a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.

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