Close to 2 of every 1,000 newborns are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and about 10,000 babies in the U.S. develop the disability each year. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health, 500,000 children and adults in the United States have cerebral palsy. According to the Center for Disease Control, the cost to manage a person with cerebral palsy over the course of their lifetime is close to$1,000,000. This makes cerebral palsy the second-most expensive developmental disability.

Contributing Factors

  • Prematurity
  • Prenatal Causes (during pregnancy)—including fetal infections, a stroke causing internal hemorrhaging, maternal smoking, alcohol or drug use, and physical trauma during pregnancy.
  • Perinatal Causes (during labor/delivery)—including trauma to the baby, lack of oxygen during birth, and infection passed to the baby during birth.
  • Postnatal Causes (after birth)—including exposure to toxins, asphyxia, seizure disorder, brain injury, and brain infection

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

  • Loss of nerve and muscle function in the arms and legs, leading to delayed development of motor skills
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulties with hearing, speech, and vision
  • Difficulties with breathing, feeding, bladder, and bowel control
  • Sensation abnormalities
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Intellectual and learning disability

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, and damage to the brain is irreversible. There are treatments, including physical therapy, special education, and medications that can help manage the symptoms. Parents should seek immediate medical advice if they notice their child having difficulty with movement and speech.

Medical Negligence that can Lead to Cerebral Palsy

  • A negligent decision by a medical professional, such as a delay in ordering an emergency cesarean section or failing to recognize the need for a cesarean section.
  • A failure to recognize fetal distress. For example, a failure to detect that the umbilical cord is wrapped around a baby’s neck, which could lead to brain damage or a failure to properly read a fetal monitor strip.
  • Misuse of medical tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors which are used to facilitate or hasten delivery. Failing to use these tools properly can cause brain damage.
  • Traumatic delivery

At Bonina & Bonina, P.C. our birth injury attorneys are willing and able to face doctors and hospitals in court and hold them accountable for serious injuries and wrongful deaths caused by medical negligence. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from doctors and health care providers on behalf of injured clients.

If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as the result of medical negligence, contact us for a free consultation so we can explain your options and help you decide the best course of action. Call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.