What is the life expectancy for those with Cerebral Palsy?

With America's aging population frequently in the news, it's no surprise that many Texans have probably pondered life expectancy at some point. Most of us want to live long and healthy lives, and those in good health may unintentionally take for granted a long life expectancy. Those who suffer from permanent disability, though, can often expect to live relatively shorter lives; in addition, their lives are likely to involve many physical and emotional challenges.

In particular, those who have experienced birth injuries as infants frequently face a shorter life expectancy than do their non-injured peers. One birth injury which affects many is cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects a person's muscles and joints. As a result of having this condition, which can be caused by medical negligence during birth, individuals with CP may have extremely poor coordination and can require extensive medical assistance in order to perform everyday tasks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year almost 10,000 babies will develop the symptoms of CP. How long can these children expect to live? In general, the estimated life span for those with CP can range from 30 years to 70 years. The more severe a person's symptoms are, the shorter they can be expected to live. For example, people with CP who can walk without assistance tend to have longer lifespans than those who cannot walk unaided. However, even those in the first group have shorter lifespans than the rest of the non-CP population.

In the past, it was rare that someone with CP would live into his or her adult years. While today's longer life expectancy is positive news, living longer presents a host of medical challenges. An individual who lives decades with CP can often expect to face massive medical expenses and the potential need for long-term care. As a result, families of these men and women often struggle financially, as well as in other ways. A Texas medical malpractice attorney may be a valuable resource for these families, as a legal professional can help reveal if a child's condition was caused by another's negligence. If so, a family may be able to obtain adequate compensation for the needs of their child.

Source: cpinfo.org, "Cerebral palsy life expectancy," accessed July 5, 2015

Categories: Birth Injuries