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With an objective to spread awareness about Cerebral Palsy (CP) and its global impact, October 6 is observed as “World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day”. Organized by a group of non-profit Cerebral Palsy (CP) organizations called the “World Cerebral Palsy Initiative”, the annual observance aims to raise awareness about CP and bring attention to the specific needs of people living with this complex physical condition. The campaign is an annual global movement of people with cerebral palsy and their families and the organizations that support them, in more than 75 countries. It aims to ensure that children and adults with this condition have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in the society. There is no specific treatment for this condition. However, administration of medications and other alternative therapies can make a big difference in improving the quality of life of the patients. For correct clinical documentation of this neurological disorder, physicians can consider medical billing outsourcing services.

Cerebral Palsy is a group of complex, neurological disorders that affect movement and muscle tone and posture. Regarded as one of the most common causes of childhood physical disability, CP affects an average of 1 in 700 people. Reports suggest that about 17 million people are living with CP around the world. The condition occurs as a result of abnormality or disruption in brain development, most often before a child is born. The condition causes a range of disabilities, from mild to severe. Its effect on function varies greatly. In some cases, affected people can walk; others need assistance. Some people also show intellectual disabilities.

The one-day global campaign is an attempt to bring together innovators, educators, physicians, businesses, government and other non-profit organizations around the world so they can help create innovative solutions for real-life and daily problems faced by those with CP. In most cases, signs and symptoms associated with the condition appear during infancy or pre-school years and can vary greatly. Movement and coordination problems associated with the condition include – abnormal reflexes, variations in muscle tone, lack of balance and muscle coordination (ataxia), tremors or involuntary movements, abnormal posture, seizures, slow, writhing movements or some combinations of these. The condition can affect the whole body, or at times may be limited primarily to one limb or one side of the body. The brain disorder causing CP doesn’t change with time; hence the symptoms usually don’t worsen with age. However, as the child gets older, some symptoms may become more or less apparent. In the course of time, brain abnormalities associated with CP may result in several neurological problems like – intellectual disabilities, seizures, oral diseases, difficulty seeing or hearing, mental health conditions and urinary incontinence.

One of the key objectives behind this one-day global campaign is to help foster an environment of inclusion and acceptance for people living with CP around the world and to instill a sense of confidence among them. Since the signs and symptoms of CP only become apparent over time, a correct diagnosis cannot be made until a few months after birth. If the physician or pediatrician suspects that the child has CP, he/she will analyse the child’s symptoms, monitor the level of growth and development, review the child’s medical history and conduct a detailed physical examination. Physicians may perform a series of tests like MRI, Cranial ultrasound and Electroencephalogram (EEG) to analyse the areas of damage or abnormal development in the brain. In addition, laboratory tests (like blood, urine or skin to screen for genetic or metabolic problems) and additional tests related to hearing, vision, movement, speech and development may also be performed. Children and adults with CP require long-term care and treatment under the supervision of a medical care team. Treatment modalities include medications, muscle or nerve injections, and oral muscle relaxants. A variety of other therapies like – physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy will be performed to gain strength, balance, flexibility, motor development and mobility. In some severe cases, surgery may be needed to lessen muscle tightness or correct bone abnormalities caused by spasticity. Neurologists and other specialists offering treatment for cerebral palsy patients are reimbursed for their services. The diagnostic tests and other procedures performed must be correctly documented using the right medical codes. Medical billing and coding services can help physicians use the right ICD-10 codes for their medical billing process. ICD-10 codes for cerebral palsy include –

  • G80 Cerebral palsy
  • G80.0 Spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy
  • G80.1 Spastic diplegic cerebral palsy
  • G80.2 Spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy
  • G80.3 Athetoid cerebral palsy
  • G80.4 Ataxic cerebral palsy
  • G80.8 Other cerebral palsy

World Cerebral Palsy Day was first launched in the year 2012 by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia and United Cerebral Palsy in the United States. Today, over 450 CP service organizations, parent groups, children’s hospitals, and universities in over 65 countries support the worldwide campaign. Over the years, the campaign has evolved in to a significant social movement that targets key issues that affect people with CP around the world, irrespective of geographical, cultural and economic differences.

Individuals, families and organisations across the globe take part in the campaign by sharing stories and hosting events. Medical professionals may hold informational sessions to inform people about the risks of CP and how to prevent it. Parents, caregivers, or friends of people with CP can participate in the campaign by blogging about their individual experiences. Pictures can be shared via popular social media platforms and people can be made aware of “World Cerebral Palsy Day” and its relative importance. The theme for this year’s campaign is – “Make Your Mark,” which involves sharing different stories of how people with cerebral palsy are making their special mark in all areas around the globe. People can post and share hashtag – #CPMakeYour Mark via several social media platforms.

Take Part in World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6! World CP Day is more than just an awareness day because it celebrates the lives and achievements of people with CP and provides a powerful platform to voice their opinion.