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The Enormous Cost of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Doctor Negligence

November 6, 2018

The cost of care for a brain-damaged child as the result of physician medical negligence is enormous.  Extensive, costly supportive care is required for cerebral palsy in children and often continues into adulthood.  The lifetime cost of caring for someone suffering from cerebral palsy at birth is projected into the millions of dollars (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR 2004; 53-57-9).

The services that can be needed for Connecticut cerebral palsy care include:

  • Medical evaluations and medical care
    • Neurologic, orthopedic, gastroenterological, surgical
  • Hospitalizations
  • Home nursing and/or skilled nursing facility
  • Diagnostic tests and laboratory procedures
  • Therapeutic evaluations and treatments
    • Occupational, speech, physical, feeding/oral/communication
  • Rehabilitation, orthopedic, mobility equipment
    • Braces, walkers, wheelchairs, modified vans
  • Prescription medication
    • Tube feeding nutrition
    • Gastrostomy tube equipment
  • Support care for family (respite, family counseling, education)
  • Home modifications
  • Special education

The costs of medical care, psychologic and physical therapy continue to increase every year – and at rates greater than the inflation rate.  As a whole, consumer prices for medical care have increased 98% since January 1997 -- compared with a 50% increase for all items over that same period.  Specifically, since January 1997, consumer prices for inpatient healthcare services have increased 195% and prices for outpatient healthcare services have increased 200%.  Over that same period, consumer prices for prescription drugs have doubled, as have prices for nursing homes and adult day services (Bureau of Labor Statistics. Spotlight on Statistics: A Look at Healthcare Spending, Employment, Pay, Benefits, And Prices. June 2016)

Unfortunately, public funding, support services and facilities for Connecticut brain-damaged children and adults are extremely limited and are often simply not available.  Parents of these children need to rely on their recoveries from medical malpractice cases to provide the required lifetime care for their children.  Without those funds, average parents do not have the resources they need and cannot provide adequate care for their children.

Richard A. Silver
Silver Golub & Teitell LLP

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