In the heat of any legal case, some attorneys focus entirely on the unique legal aspects of the lawsuit and available evidence, forgetting about the real lives behind the lawsuit. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers know that it is particularly important never to forget the victims involved in childbirth accident suits, because the victims are usually young children who face a lifetime of problems. For the attorney, the case ends after a settlement or verdict, but for the families involved, the consequences of the situation never end. It remains important to continually reflect on the lives behind these birth injuries.
A new story in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette does just that by discussing the live of a local girl who was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is actually a blanket term that describes a serious of conditions which affect a person’s bodily movement, posture, and balance. The problem is often rooted in birth injuries, particularly those involving oxygen deprivation to the brain. The child described in the news story had been born prematurely, at only 28 weeks, weighing two and a half pounds. Children born prematurely usually have an increased risk of developing cerebral palsy, because their lungs are less developed than their full-term counterparts. This ultimately means that they may not be able to send adequate oxygen to the brain.
Even when the child suffers the condition at birth, it may not immediately be apparent that there is anything wrong. For some families, they do not learn that their child has the problem until they age and begin showing signs after more development. It wasn’t until the girl in this case was 18 months old that her parents noticed that something might be wrong. The girl was not developing as others her age were. She still wasn’t sitting up by herself, crawling, or walking after a year and a half. Eventually medical professionals conducted a series of tests, including an MRI, and concluded that she had cerebral palsy, essentially caused by an underdevelopment of the brain.
The problems affects the girl in a few ways. She has vision problems, minimal hand control, and poor short term memory. She also has mobility problems, and currently relies upon the help of others and a walker to get around. The girl’s hand control problems mean that she cannot use her fingers to count as she learns math like her classmates. She is attending weekly physical and occupational therapy classes in an effort to improve. The girl will never have the independence of other children, but her parents hope that she will be able to learn more as she ages.
The young child in this case does not appear to have developed cerebral palsy because of any misconduct on the part of medical professionals involved in her birth. Sometimes birth problems simply happen. Yet the Chicago injury attorneys at our firm know that there are some instances where the problems could and should have been prevented. It is in those cases that the law provides an avenue for the victims to seek recourse.
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