Fighting For Justice And Your Best Interests

Why a delayed diagnosis is so common with cerebral palsy

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Failure To Diagnose |

There are certain situations in which doctors and other medical professionals may know that a child is at risk of cerebral palsy as soon as they are born. This is a type of brain injury that often happens when the child’s brain doesn’t get proper oxygen flow during birth. So if there are risk factors such as a birth process that takes longer than expected or an umbilical cord that gets wrapped around the child’s neck, the doctors may know that cerebral palsy is more likely.

However, when it comes to diagnosing this disorder, it often takes time. Some medical experts point out that it could take months or even a year for an average case. With a mild case, the delay could be even greater than a year. Why does this happen?

Symptoms become apparent with age

The reason is that some of the symptoms children have will become more apparent with age. There could be some symptoms at a young age, such as stiff movements or an abnormal muscle tone. But some of the main indicators of cerebral palsy simply won’t apply to a newborn.

For example, a child may not start crawling until after his or her peers. This is a developmental delay, and it could be because of cerebral palsy. But the parents won’t even know that there’s an issue until the child misses that milestone.

Another issue is if the cerebral palsy impacts the child’s ability to speak or learn the intricacies of their native language. The full symptoms may not be clear to the parents while the child is still young enough that they wouldn’t be expected to speak anyway.

Your legal options

A delayed diagnosis can make your situation more complicated, but there are legal solutions. Just be sure you know what options are available to you.