Cerebral palsy is a common motor disability in childhood, and it is estimated that 1 in 323 children suffer from the condition. When your child has been identified as having the condition, it is a scary and stressful time. The cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be astronomical and hard on a family. Finding out that your child’s cerebral palsy may have been prevented can be devastating.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects mobility, muscle tone, and posture. It occurs as the result of damage to the brain that usually occurs before or during birth. The condition can result in impaired movements, spasticity, and unsteady movements. In some cases, it can also result in developmental disability and delays in motor skills. Children with cerebral palsy often require long term care.
Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
There are a number of factors that result in an increased risk of a child developing the condition including:
- Premature birth—babies who are born prematurely are more likely to survive with the development of neonatal technology, but are also at risk of developing the condition. Low birth weight can also be a contributing factor.
- Birth complications—complications such as trauma to the baby, lack of oxygen during birth, infection passed to the baby during birth, a wrapped umbilical cord, or uterine rupture can deprive a baby’s brain of oxygen which can lead to cerebral palsy. A medical professional should know how to properly respond to these emergency complications to ensure the safety of the baby.
- Assisted deliveries—deliveries improperly performed with the assistance of vacuum extractors or forceps can lead to damage to the brain, which can result in the development of cerebral palsy.
- Maternal infection—certain infections during pregnancy, including toxoplasmosis, measles, and herpes, can result in a child developing the condition. This is especially true if the infections are not properly treated and a plan is not made to avoid transmission to the infant.
Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals have a duty to adhere to the standard of care when treating pregnant women and delivering babies. Doctors who fail to recognize and treat maternal infections, fail to respond to birth complications properly, and fail to properly use assistive devices during delivery, may be liable for malpractice. These actions can lead to the preventable development of cerebral palsy in a child.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney
If you believe your child’s birth injury may have been the result of medical malpractice, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced birth injury attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping victims of medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.