Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a complex set of disorders that impact the brain and nervous system and can cause challenges in the following areas:

  • Movement
  • Cognitive function
  • Vision
  • Learning
  • Hearing

Cerebral palsy can present in various levels of severity, and in various forms:

  • Ataxic
  • Dyskinetic
  • Hypotonic
  • Spastic
  • Mixed
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Some people with CP are non-ambulatory while others walk with braces or other assistive equipment. Some people with CP are verbal, and others are not.

Cerebral palsy is caused by brain abnormalities or injuries. Most incidences of CP result from issues developed during gestation or birth, but CP can actually develop in infancy up until age two. These later onsets of CP result from brain bleeds, brain infections, head injuries, unusually severe jaundice, and other factors. 

Cerebral palsy is a chronic condition, and as such, it is a diagnosis about which emergency personnel need to know immediately in the event of an accident or injury. Letting EMTs and emergency room physicians know that being nonverbal or non-ambulatory is a patient’s baseline is incredibly helpful as they begin assessments and treatments. For people with cerebral palsy, medical ID bracelets can help prevent unnecessary tests and facilitate communication with loved ones. Additionally, many people with cerebral palsy are on multiple medications. Medical ID jewelry, in those cases, can also help prevent drug interactions and contraindicated treatments. 

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