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Severe Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical term used to describe a group of chronic health problems impairing a patient's motor, sensory and other central nervous systems. Cerebral palsy develops during gestation, child birth, or the first few years of life and generally does not worsen over time. Patients with cerebral palsy display varying degrees of motor, sensory, cognitive, and physical disability depending on the nature and extent of their brain injuries.

While patients with mild cerebral palsy may not need any special medical attention, patients with severe cerebral palsy may be unable to walk, suffer a number of related health conditions, and require extensive lifelong help. Due to the seriousness of a patient's condition, those with severe cerebral palsy may have a significantly reduced life expectancy. Children with severe cerebral palsy, including quadriplegia and mental retardation have a seventy percent chance of reaching their twentieth birthday.

Severe Cerebral Palsy in Children

Children with severe cerebral palsy can suffer from significant medical problems including seizures, debilitating motor impairments, and sensory problems. Severe cerebral palsy can leave a patient partially or fully paralyzed in the trunk and extremities. Diplegia is the term used for patients whose cerebral palsy is worse in the lower extremities than the upper extremities. Quadriplegia is the term used to describe the loss of sensation and/or functioning in the trunk and all extremities, a condition common is severe cerebral palsy cases. Severe cerebral palsy can make movement very difficult and labored, and some patients may be unable to walk without assistance.

Patients with severe cerebral palsy may suffer a number of sensory impairments. Severe cerebral palsy can cause:

  • blindness
  • hearing loss
  • language and speech difficulties
  • drooling
  • food aspiration (suck food or fluid into the lungs)
  • gastro-esophageal reflux
  • tooth decay
  • osteoporosis
  • sleep disorders

Treating Patients with Severe Cerebral Palsy

Treating a patient with severe cerebral palsy is determined by that person's individual needs. Due to advancements in medical technology and treatment techniques, many aspects of severe cerebral palsy are manageable. A team of professionals including any of the following are often specially trained to help patients with severe cerebral palsy: pediatricians, neurologists, orthopedists, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, social workers, psychologists, and educators.

Patients with severe cerebral palsy may benefit from physical, occupational and other therapies, drug treatments, surgery, and mechanical aids. Severe cerebral palsy can cause complications which make it difficult to eat or breathe properly without aid. Respiratory therapists and other specialists can also be helpful in treating patients with severe cerebral palsy. Treatment for severe cerebral palsy can be extensive and lifelong. In some cases severe cerebral palsy is attributable to the negligence or intentional acts of another. When this is the case, the patient may be eligible to seek compensation for their losses associated with severe cerebral palsy.

Always know your rights. If you or a loved one has developed cerebral palsy due to someone's negligence you may be able to take legal action. Contact a cerebral palsy lawyer today.

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