Cerebral palsy is a condition that occurs to the damage of an infant’s brain either before, during or immediately following birth. Studies show that birth asphyxia and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) are the most prevalent risk factors for cerebral palsy, with over 63% of infants being diagnosed with one of these conditions that ultimately resulted in cerebral palsy.
The brain damage that results in cerebral palsy is typically permanent, causing a child to have challenges throughout their life with muscle control, posture, muscle tone, reflexes, coordination, posture, and balance.
Those with cerebral palsy also have challenges with fine and gross motor skills and oftentimes will need assistance throughout their lives. The severity of cerebral palsy is different for every child, however, in many cases, cerebral palsy is a direct result of medical negligence on the part of the doctor, nurse, or another medical professional during the birthing process.
Medical Errors Related to Cerebral Palsy
In many cases, the infant does not have enough oxygen to the brain, which results in permanent neurological damage. Unfortunately, there are thousands of cases of cerebral palsy that occur every year in the United States. There are ways that medical professionals can prevent this type of neurological damage that oftentimes results in cerebral palsy by taking appropriate steps that are established by protocols within the medical community. Negligence of a doctor or another medical professional can include the following:
- Failing to discover, diagnose correctly, or appropriately treat an infection in the mother or infant
- Failing to attach a fetal heart rate monitor to the mother, or failing to carefully observe the monitor for significant changes which would indicate a medical emergency
- Failing to perform a cesarean section when it would be considered medically necessary
- Failing to discover, diagnose correctly, or appropriately handle a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failing to use medical tools in the birthing process appropriately, such as vacuum extractors or forceps
Foundation for a Medical Malpractice Case
If you gave birth to a child that was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may want to seriously consider whether or not medical negligence was involved in the development of your child’s condition. In many cases, medical errors either before, during, or immediately after the birth of a child can lead to brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy.
If your baby was born prematurely, the medical staff had an additional responsibility to ensure that appropriate measures were taken to ensure their health and to prevent brain damage. You may be able to file a claim against the attending physician, nurse, anesthesiologist, or other medical professionals. Additionally, if you had your baby in a hospital, you may have the legal right to hold the hospital directly responsible for the brain injuries suffered by your child.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Conducting an independent investigation can be a complex legal undertaking and visiting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand how you may have the legal right to pursue justice on behalf of your child.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at (415) 946-8900 or online today.