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Cerebral Palsy compensation

Find expert advice, as well as everything you need to know about Cerebral Palsy and clinical negligence with our CP support page.

Home » Personal Law » Medical Negligence » Cerebral Palsy

Often during the birth process, a baby may suffer a physical injury that is simply the result of being born.

Perhaps the most recognised condition is cerebral palsy (CP), although the meaning is often misunderstood. Find all the information you need to know about Cerebral Palsy, as well as support and compensation advice on what to do next from our expert solicitors in Lincoln, Grimsby, Hull and Louth.  

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. Neurological conditions are caused by problems in the brain and nervous system. CP is caused by a problem in the part of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. The condition can occur if the brain develops abnormally or is damaged before, during or shortly after birth.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy include:

  • An infection caught by the mother during pregnancy
  • A difficult or premature birth
  • Bleeding in the baby’s brain
  • Changes in the genes that affect the brain’s development

It is estimated that 1 in 400 people in the UK is affected by CP.

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms of CP normally become apparent during the first three years of a child’s life. The main symptoms are:

  • Muscle stiffness or floppiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Random and uncontrolled body movements
  • Balance and co-ordination problems

These symptoms can affect different areas of the body and vary in severity from person to person. Some people will only have minor problems, whereas some others will be severely disabled.

Many people with CP also have a number of associated problems, including repeated seizures or fits, drooling problems and swallowing difficulties. Some people with the condition may have communication and learning difficulties, although intelligence is sometimes unaffected.

How Cerebral Palsy is treated

There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, however, there are numerous treatments available which can treat many of its symptoms and can help people with the condition to be as independent as possible. These treatments include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medication to relieve muscle stiffness and spasms. In some cases surgery may also be required.

Outlook

Cerebral Palsy is not a progressive condition which means that the original problem in the brain does not get worse with age and life expectancy is usually unaffected. Despite this the physical and emotional strain of living with a long term condition such as Cerebral Palsy can put a great deal of stress on the body, which can cause further problems in later life and life expectancy is often diminished.

Negligent errors can include:

  • Failure to perform CTGs to monitor the baby’s heartbeat
  • Failure to note changes on CTGs
  • Delays in performing instrument deliveries using forceps or ventouse
  • Delays to performing emergency caesarean sections
  •  Errors in using forceps or ventouse
  • Errors in managing caesarean sections

It is not always the baby that suffers trauma/injury during birth and sometimes, it can be the mother. For example, a mother may experience perineal tears, nerve injury and maternal death. In some instances these injuries can be avoided but for the actions of the clinicians involved.

Pregnancy and birth injuries are devastating and in some cases cause severe disability. Bridge McFarland Solicitors understand the complex and sensitive legal and medical issues involved and the importance of supporting individuals through this most difficult time.

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FAQs
How can I contact Bridge McFarland?
You can contact us by telephone, by email or fax and through our online enquiry facility found on this website.
How can I find out if medical treatment was negligent?
During the investigations of your clinical negligence claim we will be required to obtain disclosure of all relevant medical records - both hospital and GP - in the manner set out in the pre-action protocols. Once all of the relevant medical records have been received they will be considered on a preliminary basis. They will then be sent to an independent expert nurse who will index and paginate the records to ensure that they are in some semblance of order.
How involved will I be in my claim?
We know that bringing a legal claim can be stressful and you can be as involved in your claim as you wish to be. Of course, we will always provide you with real and honest advice throughout your claim and will always act in accordance with your instructions.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Professional negligence claims generally arise from breach of contract and/tort. A claimant has 6 years to bring this kind of claim. This is the primary limitation period. This period begins from the date that the cause of action accrues.
How long does it take to complete my claim?
The estimated time scale involved in this matter will be eighteen to twenty-four months to conclude preliminary investigations. This can vary for many reasons but we will endeavour to keep you advised of any change in the likely time scale as the matter develops.