The birth of a baby should be a happy time for families. Sometimes, unfortunately a birth injury may occur that causes serious harm to the baby during labor or delivery. Of the various types of injuries, brain trauma is one of the most severe, and can be disabling. Cerebral palsy may sometimes be the result of a mistake or problem that causes a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. This lack of oxygen can cause cerebral palsy or other mental disabilities. Parents of infants who suffered a lack of oxygen are naturally concerned about the extent of the injuries sustained. There are some tests that should be done to determine cerebral palsy.
Observation of Behaviors
One of the first signs of possible problems can be detected by observing the behavior of the infant. A baby that suffers a seizure should certainly be examined and diagnosed for the possibility of cerebral palsy or another serious problem. However, there are often small behaviors that could indicate cerebral palsy. For example, parents should note the frequent occurrence of involuntary movements of the limbs. Drooping or limpness of a limb or part of the body could also be cause for concern.
Failure to Reach Milestones
Babies progress differently, but they should all reach specific milestones at certain ages. An infant with cerebral palsy may be unable to control his or her muscles properly, and therefore, may not be able to sit upright or crawl, for example. If your baby is not attaining the standard goals for an infant in his age group, parents should bring their concerns to the attention of their child’s pediatrician. Many times, mild cerebral palsy may not be detected at birth and may only be diagnosed as the child ages.
Tests and Assessments
A general assessment by a doctor may consist of an overall examination including some muscle tone testing. The doctor may also perform some cognitive tests to determine an intellectual disability. If the doctor feels that there is a possibility of cerebral palsy, he may order some tests.
- PET Scan – The PET scan (positron emission tomography) is a test that uses radiation to view the functional processes of the body to produce 3-D images. These images will be evaluated to determine problems in brain communication and processes.
- EEG – EEG, electroencephalogram, is a test that tracks communication between the brain and other areas of the body. Children with cerebral palsy generally have problems with the transmission of brain waves. They also may have some dormant areas of the brain, which can be found using this test.
- MRI – :MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an image scan of the body, or in this case, the brain. The image will show any abnormalities such as a hemorrhage or inflammation that could indicate the possibility of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a serious injury that could be due to a medical mistake at birth. If you suspect that your child suffered a birth injury because of the negligence of the doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the compassionate birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.
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