Facts about Cerebral Palsy

The following information facts and common questions about cerebral palsy are provided by National Injury Help for parents looking for answers to what may have happened to their child during birth.

If you are a parent that feels your child developed cerebral palsy during birth from either a doctor or hospital mistake, we feel your concern, contact us for a 100% free review of your situation, you have nothing to lose.

Common Questions on Cerebral Palsy

cerebral palsy child

How did my child get Cerebral Palsy?  What is it? 

Cerebral palsy is a movement and posture disorder, not a disease. CP is a condition that is the result of damage to the brain. This damage is non-progressive, meaning that the damage will not get worse over time.

Although damage doesn’t get worse, without therapy the effect on the muscles could lead to more stiffness or to less muscle tone. CP affects somewhere between two and five children out of every thousand. Each year, 8,000-9,500 babies will be born with CP, and there are 500,000 people in the U.S. with the condition.

Are there different types of CP?

No two babies with cerebral palsy are exactly alike. Depending on what portion of the brain was damaged, CP might affect only one side of your child’s body, or it could affect only your child’s arms or legs. Some children with CP are very stiff, while others are loose and floppy.

The specific motor types present in cerebral palsy are classified by the extent, type, and location of a child’s abnormalities.

Spastic: Spastic CP is the most common type. Patients will experience increased muscle tone and their movements may appear stiff or awkward. Different parts of the body can be affected.

  • Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis typically affects
    the arm, hand, and leg on one side of the body.
  • Spastic diplegia/diparesisinvolves muscle
    stiffness that is predominantly in the legs. The arms may
    be affected to a lesser extent
  • Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis is the most
    severe form of CP. It is caused by widespread damage to
    the brain or significant brain malformations.


Dyskinetic: These motor patterns are characterized by slow and uncontrollable writhing or jerky movements of the hands, feet, arms, or legs.

Ataxic: Ataxia affects both balance and depth perception. Children with this type of CP will often have poor coordination and walk unsteadily with a wide-based gait.

Mixed Types: Mixed types of CP are symptoms that don’t correspond to any single type of the condition but are a mix of types.

Why does my child have Cerebral Palsy?

Babies born at term, or more than 37 weeks, can develop CP if there is significant hypoxia or asphyxia with the delivery. Due to the fact that any degree or type of CP can have life-long consequences to both the baby and the family, any circumstance when a baby is diagnosed with the disorder requires an investigation of the facts surrounding the labor and delivery to determine if the hypoxia or asphyxia could have been prevented.

In several cases, evidence in the medical records, including the fetal monitor strip, will reveal significant problems during labor that should have led to an earlier delivery that would have prevented the consequence of cerebral palsy. It’s estimated that 70% of children with CP developed it due to an event before birth which interfered with normal brain development.

Could the doctor have prevented CP?

If the baby is delivered and has clearly experienced oxygen deprivation, the doctor can still prevent CP, but time is crucial. Every second that passes without the baby having oxygen increases the risk. One way of prevention, although still experimental, is hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

This type of therapy treatment puts the infant in a decompressed chamber full of 100% oxygen, flooding the tissue full of the healing properties of oxygen. Also, it slows down the trauma that the brain is experiencing, pausing and overriding the emergency response of the brain and ultimately lessening or completely eliminating the child’s case of CP.

If your child has had oxygen deprivation and your doctor decides against using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the disorder of cerebral palsy is the doctor’s fault.

How will a Cerebral Palsy lawsuit help?

Taking care of a child with cerebral palsy can be expensive, and depending on the level of the disorder, the cost can climb to $1 million for a lifetime of medical care, therapy, home care, rehabilitation, and more.

When filing for a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you are holding the liable party responsible for their negligent actions. In most cases, when a plaintiff wins a cerebral palsy lawsuit against the party responsible for their child’s injuries, like the doctor or a member of the medical staff, they can expect to be compensated for the medical treatments that go along with caring for someone with cerebral palsy. In addition, the plaintiff may be awarded compensation for in-home care, lost wages, punitive damages, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.

While you shouldn’t expect the doctor that contributed to your child’s disorder to admit negligence, you should not be stuck with overwhelming medical bills due to their careless mistakes. Contact us today for a 100% free legal case review today.


Facts about Cerebral Palsy, Common Questions on Cerebral Palsy for Parents page updated on April 10, 2019.


Sources: http://ucp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/each-of-us-remembers-parents-of-children-with-cerebral-palsy-answer-your-questions-2013.pdf