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