Unilateral Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

Birth Injury | March 30, 2018

In March, we raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy (CP). There are different types of CP that many do not know about. All types of cerebral palsy involve brain injury or damage caused during birth. If this is the case, CP can be attributed to medical malpractice since the injury occurred during the birthing process.

Unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP), also known as hemiplegic cerebral palsy, is the most common type of CP accounting for over 30 percent of all diagnosed children.
When a child is born with unilateral cerebral palsy there is severe loss of muscle function on one side of the body. Both sides are impacted, however, if the right side of the brain is damaged, then the left side of the body will be affected more heavily.

These impairments have a lasting effect on the child’s social skills as they will have to focus more energy on performing simple tasks instead of learning how to interact with other children. Children with unilateral cerebral palsy will develop a preferred side sooner than healthy children due to coordination being stronger on one side. This includes a dominant hand and which foot to apply weight on. Before learning how to walk, some parents notice unbalanced crawling. Difficulties in grip are a major challenge for individuals with UCP. Children with UCP have trouble gripping, or squeezing, an object. Once they have a grasp on something, introducing another muscle movement can interfere with the original task.
So, simple tasks like walking upstairs while holding onto the railing can prove to be extremely difficult for children with UCP because it involves more than one muscle function.

Noticing these irregularities is the best way to diagnose a child with UCP. Since injury can occur during birth, symptoms do not show right away. Symptoms will develop as the body develops.

Some symptoms to look for include:

  • Hand preference
  • Avoiding use of both hands during activities
  • Imbalance while crawling or walking
  • Muscle stiffness on one side of the body
  • Asymmetrical posture

Raising a child with unilateral cerebral palsy presents a number of complications. It can be even more frustrating when it is a result of a birthing injury due to medical malpractice or negligence. If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy because of a birthing injury please do not hesitate to call Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery at 859-578-4444 or feel free to contact us online. Our Louisville birth injury attorneys have years of experience in dealing with medical malpractice and achieving benefits for our clients.

If this article sounds similar to a recent experience that you or a loved one have suffered from, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call 859-578-4444 to schedule a free consultation!

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