Cerebral Palsy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a long-term condition that affects the area of your child's brain that controls muscle movement. Your child may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play normally.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

Your child may be at risk for falls, choking, or constipation. If CP is not treated, your child may have trouble moving, walking, eating, or doing simple things. Your child's health, quality of life, and ability to function may also decrease.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.

Medicines:

  • Muscle relaxers: This medicine helps relax your child's muscles. It is also given to decrease pain and muscle spasms.

  • Anticonvulsants: These are used to decrease muscle spasms. They can also help control your child's seizures.

  • Anticholinergics: This medicine may help control your child's abnormal movements.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: These may rule out other causes of your child's symptoms. They may also be done to help manage other health problems caused by CP.

  • Visual tests: These tests check for problems with your child's eyes or vision.

  • EEG: This test is also called an electroencephalogram. Many small pads or flat, metal buttons are put on your child's head. Each pad has a wire that is hooked to a machine. This machine records a tracing of brain wave activity from different parts of your child's brain. Caregivers look at the tracing to see how your child's brain is working.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your child's head. He may be given dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your child's head. He may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not let your child enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if your child has any metal in or on his body.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Cerebral Palsy (Inpatient Care)

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