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Cerebral Palsy Symptoms - Medical Malpractice Lawyer - Canada

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145

Cerebral palsy generally has an insult to the motor centers of the brain before birth or at the time of birth but cerebral hypoxia causing cerebral palsy can occur in infants up to a few months old. Even though the insult occurs near or at the time of birth, the actual symptoms of cerebral palsy my not even be noticeable until the child reaches the age of 1 to 3 years. Initially, the parent may notice hypotonia (weakness of the muscles) and the child may miss developmental milestones early in life but these symptoms gradually become more like cerebral palsy as the child develops. Most cases of cerebral palsy are spastic in nature, meaning the muscles are tight and don't move well. There is a tendency of the muscles extend rather than to flex. The baby may retain some of its newborn reflexes as well.

Common Early Signs

Severe cerebral palsy is often seen at the time of birth or in the weeks shortly thereafter. Common signs and symptoms include having a weak cry or a shrill cry, having problems suckling the breast or swallowing formula, having seizures and sitting in an unusual position, such as being very floppy or very rigid. Arms are extended or extremely flexed and do not move well. Legs are extended and do not move well.

Muscle Pain

As the child grows, the muscles become smaller in the affected extremities because they are not exercising these muscles. There can be pain with even the smallest touch and pain with things like brushing the baby's teeth. There can be abnormal sensations anywhere in the body that interfere with the ability to feel things normally. There is often drooling and an inability to handle secretions. This can lead to a rash around the mouth, on the chin or on the chest. If the teeth can't be brushed without pain, there are problems with dental decay, gingivitis and gum disease as a result of medications used to control seizures.

Accidents & Falls

There tends to be more accidents and falls when a person has cerebral palsy. The child's balance is poor and the joints are stiff. Physical strength is diminished so that the child cannot catch himself or herself when tripping or trying to walk or climb. Seizures related to cerebral palsy can result in unexpected falls and injuries.

Heart & Lung Disease

Those who have had CP until adulthood are at a higher risk for heart disease and diseases of the lungs. For example, food can be inhaled into the lungs, increasing the risk of pneumonia or bronchitis.

Neurological Conditions

Cerebral palsy is related to other neurological conditions that occur at the same time as the insult to the brain. Besides motor delay and spasticity, doctors and parents can see speech difficulties such as a lack of speech or a garbled speech that is difficult to understand. Fine motor skills and gross motor skills can be affected equally or one can be worse than the other.

Cognitive Disabilities & Development Delay

There can be cognitive disabilities and a developmental delay. This happens in up to 50 percent of patients who have cerebral palsy and can limit their ability to learn new things and function in school at the level appropriate for their age. Some kids, on the other hand, have no intellectual impairment whatsoever.

Mental Aptitude

It is sometimes difficult to measure mental aptitude in a child who has severe motor function disabilities. Testers must differentiate between a true failure of knowledge and a difficulty in displaying that knowledge due to cerebral palsy.


Seizures are a common phenomenon in those kids who have cerebral palsy. You can see seizures in up to a third of all cases of cerebral palsy. Cognitive disability is more common in kids who have seizures along with their cerebral palsy. The seizures can be generalized, partial or absence (petit mal) seizures.

Visula Deficiencies

Visual deficiencies are common along with cerebral palsy. Kids can have strabismus or 'lazy eye', some of which can be corrected with eye surgery or glasses. A few children with CP can have cortical blindness that is untreatable as it involves dead visual cells in the brain.

Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Most cases of cerebral palsy occur naturally as a birth injury and do not involve medical malpractice however a small percentage of these cases are most definitely caused by negligence on the part of healthcare professionals. If you have any reason whatsoever to suspect that your child's condition has been caused by a clinical error amounting to medical malpractice on the part of any healthcare professional, be it a doctor, midwife, nurse or technician please contact us without delay. There are time limits on claims against medical staff, hospitals and clinics and delay can preclude an award of compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers offer a free consultation without obligation to establish whether or not you have a viable case to claim compensation for your child's injuries. Please contact us without delay by completion of the contact form or you can email our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer will call you.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145