New FDA-approved trial aims to improve cerebral palsy symptoms

When a pregnant woman delivers a child, she must trust in her physician and other medical professionals to provide appropriate and timely care, particularly when emergencies arise. Unfortunately, the quality of care provided is not always up to par. In the worst-case scenarios, negligent doctors can cause severe harm to newborns, sometimes resulting in birth injuries.

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can be caused by a complicated labor and delivery. When the infant's brain is deprived of oxygen during a lengthy labor and delivery, cerebral palsy may result. Children with cerebral palsy can suffer from a variety of symptoms, including many affecting coordination and movement:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Tremors
  • Problems with muscle coordination
  • Difficulty walking
  • Delays in motor skills and speech development

Cerebral palsy can also lead to vision and hearing problems, seizures and intellectual disabilities.

The FDA has approved a clinical trial to combat these sometimes-debilitating symptoms. The participants in the study are all children with cerebral palsy whose parents stored their umbilical cord blood after giving birth. In total, 40 children will participate in the study. The children will all receive infusions of stem cells from the cord blood stored by their parents at birth.

A child from Detroit has been chosen as one of the participants. The boy's symptoms include tremors, muscle spasms and he is unable to hold his head up on his own. When he was born, his parents decided to store the umbilical cord blood, a practice that was not particularly common at the time.

Now, because of his parents' foresight, he is able to participate in the study that does not require long hours in surgery or a painful recovery period. The researchers are hopeful that the treatment will improve symptoms for these children.

Cerebral palsy often requires many different types of treatments

Children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy typically undergo a wide variety of treatments in an effort to lessen their symptoms and improve their quality of life. For instance, children may be treated by doctors in a number of specialty areas, including:

  • Neurology
  • Occupational, physical and speech therapy
  • Mental health
  • Orthopedics

In addition, cerebral palsy patients may need medication to improve their ability to move and manage pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary, particularly in cases where the child suffers from severe muscle tightness.

If your child suffers from cerebral palsy due to physician malpractice, consulting with a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure your child's rights are protected.