Friday, January 13, 2017

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy in Infants - Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer

Are there any tests available for diagnosing cerebral palsy in infants?


The birth of a baby into a family brings joys and excitement for everyone. However, sometimes, the joy is marred by a birth injury that can occur during any stage of labor or delivery. Brain trauma is among the most serious and disabling types of birth injuries. Cerebral palsy is a condition that could be a result of a problem or mistake that causes lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain.

Parents of babies who suffered a lack of oxygen would be concerned about the extent and severity of injuries sustained. However, there are some tests available that can be conducted to diagnose cerebral palsy. In this post, our Illinois birth injury lawyer will discuss some of the cerebral palsy tests for infants.

Observing behavior of the infant

You can easily identify the first signs of cerebral palsy or other kind of brain damage in an infant by simply observing their behavior. If a baby suffers a seizure, they should be examined for cerebral palsy or some other possible serious problems. Drooping or limpness of a limb or involuntary movements of the limbs may indicate a problem.

Failure to achieve milestones

Although all babies progress differently, they should reach milestones around certain ages. If the infant is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, they will likely be unable to control their muscles and may not be able to sit or crawl. If a baby is not reaching milestones, parents should consult speak with the child's pediatrician. Some cases of cerebral palsy may not be detected at birth, and may be diagnosed only as the child becomes a little older.

Diagnostic tests

Doctors may carry out a general assessment consisting of an overall examination including muscle tone testing. If the doctor detects some possibility of cerebral palsy, they may order some tests including:

  • EEG: Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that tracks communication between the brain and the other body parts. Infants with cerebral palsy usually have problems with the transmission of brain waves. EEG may also show some dormant areas of the brain.

  • PET Scan: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a test that uses radiation to produce 3-D images of functional processes of the body. These images can be evaluated to determine any problems with brain processes and communication.

  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an image scan of the brain, which can show any abnormalities such as inflammation or a hemorrhage that could indicate the possibility of cerebral palsy.

Birth Injuries and cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a life changing injury that could be a result of a medical mistake at birth. If you think your child’s birth injury is a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified and experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer to get legal help. Give us a call at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights.