Living with the Effects of a Birth Injury

California parents should be able to enjoy the nine months of pregnancy by looking forward to the joy that will abound once their babies are born. Despite labor pains, the birthing process is another time that should be filled with anticipation and happiness as the time to meet a new loved one draws near.

Sadly for many families, these joys are taken away suddenly by the harsh realities of birth injuries. In some cases, the problems are evident immediately such as when fetal distress signals serious complications. At other times, parents may be unaware of any problem with their children for as long as a few years. Such can be the case for children who develop cerebral palsy as a birth injury.

Cerebral palsy as a birth injury

WebMD.com notes that up to 20 percent of cases of cerebral palsy are due to birth injuries. This happens when complications during labor and delivery result in a lack of oxygen flowing from mother to baby. The lack of oxygen causes brain damage which manifests in multiple ways depending upon the severity of the damage.

Families who face the prospect of life with a child suffering from a birth injury have a unique road ahead of them. There are many issues they must face and emotions that they must process as they work through the disappointments and the frustrations about an injury that did not need to occur.

The diagnosis and financial implications

A publication from the United Cerebral Palsy Associations provides a good overview for parents facing a recent diagnosis of cerebral palsy. It explains the varying emotions similar to that of a grieving process and also talks about what life may be like for the child with cerebral palsy, the parents and the siblings.

Certainly there will be a dramatic impact on families from a financial perspective. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can cost as much as $1 million over a lifetime to care for someone with cerebral palsy. Prescriptions will be needed for special equipment that may include orthoses, wheelchairs and more. Some items and care may be covered by health insurance, but other families may need to seek assistance such as in the form of Supplemental Security Insurance.

WebMD.com also notes that a wide range of medical care may be needed depending upon the severity of the individual condition. This can include physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as surgeries, medication, counseling and more.

The whole family

Every member of the family is impacted when a birth injury occurs. For people with other children, finding ways to accommodate the non-injured child’s needs as well as the injured child’s needs can be its own challenge.

Seeking help from support groups can be useful, but that does not negate the importance of talking to an attorney. When a life has been negatively changed due to the negligence of another, compensation is due.