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Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

The effects of cerebral palsy are typically evident from birth, so most children are diagnosed within the first two years of life.  If a child’s symptoms are mild, however, it is more difficult to diagnose the condition before age 4 or 5.  Infants are rarely diagnosed in the first six months of their lives.

If the infant or child has brain damage, a doctor will suspect cerebral palsy if he or she exhibits the following symptoms: irritability or fussiness; body twitching, seizures or eye fluttering; poor muscle tone; listlessness; problems with sucking and swallowing; and trembling arms and legs.

If a doctor observes any of the above symptoms, she will evaluate the child’s motor skills and consider the child’s medical history.  She will look carefully to see if there are any of the classic symptoms of cerebral palsy, such as slow development, unusual posture and abnormal muscle tone.  If the doctor suspects cerebral palsy, she will likely administer further testing.  The most common diagnostic tests given are computed tomography (CT) scans, which shows the structure of the brain and areas of damage, as well as magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) scans, which creates an anatomical picture of the brain’s tissues and structures.  A cranial ultrasound may also be administered.  It is used for high-risk premature infants since it’s the least intrusive of the imaging techniques, but it is also the least successful.  Cranial ultrasounds use reflected sound waves to produce images of the brain.

Contact York Law Firm

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect it was the result of medical malpractice, you should speak with an experienced birth injury attorney right away.  Our attorneys can help you determine whether you have a valid birth injury claim.  York Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of those who cannot protect themselves.  The birth injury attorneys at York Law Firm will fight to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

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