Written by Jeff Meyer on 28 Sep 2015
A local charity funds research into cerebral palsy in the UK and this news is a cause of joy for the Bucks family in Horsham, Sussex. Samantha Bucks, the mother of 9 year old Alfie, a child with cerebral palsy who is a quadriplegic and unable to control his body movements, is grateful a charity near her home, Action Medical Research, is committed to conducting studies aimed into developing better treatments for children with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a crippling disorder caused by brain damage during pregnancy, delivery, or birth. Samantha’s main hope for Alfie is for him to be able to live with dignity and acceptance. She hopes ongoing research will improve his future while she does the best she can with Alfie’s daily care, scheduling life with her other children, Jessie and Lewis, oftentimes around Alfie’s medical appointments.
Although the Bucks’ home has been modified to accommodate Alfie’s wheelchair, for many families this is a need that they can’t afford. One of these families is the Johnsons from Roosevelt, NY. Their 7 year old, Kayden, has cerebral palsy. Kayden’s mother, Darlene, was extremely grateful to get the news that the family will receive a $20,000 grant from the nearby town of Hampstead to have their home modified to include wheelchair lifts and other needed improvements to allow for her son’s care at home rather than having to place him in a residential facility.
Treatment and Care Costs for Children with Cerebral Palsy
The costs commonly associated with caring for a child with cerebral palsy can easily run $1 million USD, an amount most families do not have. Some families go into debt even with several jobs or some help. This again brings to light the strong need most families, like the Johnsons and Bucks, have for effective and varied options for raising children who have cerebral palsy. Nevertheless, charities alone cannot support the overwhelming financial burdens caring for children with this crippling disorder often involves. Research can also help to hopefully create better technologies to prevent future medical error and better options for children with cerebral palsy to lead fuller lives. In cases of medical mistakes, a cerebral palsy lawsuit can often be filed to seek financial retribution.
Doctor Error Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Medical malpractice accounts for nearly one in every tenth birth resulting in a child born with cerebral palsy. About 20% of children with cerebral palsy get the disorder from oxygen deprivation with other causes including causal factors of pressure on the baby’s brain. The disorder may occur before, during, or soon after birth, so proper prenatal, labor, and delivery care by doctors and their medical staff is essential. Here are some of the most common types of doctor errors that can cause cerebral palsy in children:
- Improper use of labor inducing drugs, including too large of a dose
- Neglect in referring a high-risk pregnancy case to a specialist in that field or neglecting to have a paediatrician during labor and delivery for observation and assessment
- Improper use of medical vacuums to extract babies fast enough during delivery
- Neglect in addressing changes in pregnancy, labor, or delivery
- Improper delivery response time after the mother’s water breaks
- Neglect in arranging a C-section when a regular delivery is not suitable due to the size of the baby or other issues
Decisions made by doctors, as well as more effective technology and research to develop safer surgical tools and procedures can make a huge impact in preventing the number of children with cerebral palsy. For families already struggling with a child with this crippling disorder, like the Bucks and the Johnsons, the financial costs and staggering amount of daily care required can be overwhelming without receiving funding and support.