Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
Cerebral palsy is a condition that typically affects muscle coordination, movement, sensory perception, and learning ability. Cerebral palsy is caused by injury to the brain during development as a fetus or during labor or delivery. Premature, underweight, or breech birth babies, as well as babies in multiple births have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
As reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability of childhood.
Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy affects certain parts of the body, such as an arm, on one side of the body, or it can affect the entire body. The symptoms of cerebral palsy may be present at birth, but they can also appear over time, becoming evident in the first two years, a critical period of brain development. Symptoms include:
- Spastic movement or tremors
- Lack of motor skills development
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty eating or nursing
- Favoring one side of the body
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician for full medical evaluation and diagnosis.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
There are several causes of cerebral palsy, including infections, abnormalities, or other conditions that occur during pregnancy, that even with the best of medical care are unavoidable. Inevitable complications during labor that can deprive the infant’s brain of oxygen, such as dystocia, umbilical cord issues or other problems can also lead to cerebral palsy.
Some cases of cerebral palsy can be attributed to negligent, careless, or reckless actions taken by medical professionals. Failing to attend to the birthing process correctly, and failure to employ the accepted standards of care could exacerbate or directly cause a child to be left with cerebral palsy. Some common medical errors include:
- Delay or failure in recommending a C-section when a fetus is in distress
- Misdiagnosis and lack of treatment of infant seizures or brain hemorrhage
- Excessive or improper use of vacuum extractor or forceps
- Failure to detect umbilical cord problems causing fetal distress
- Negligent postpartum care, such as failing to diagnose and treat jaundice
Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy
There is no cure for cerebral palsy. A diagnosis means a lifetime of special care. Treatment options will vary, based upon the scope of the damage, and may include:
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Hippotherapy (therapeutic horseback riding)
What to Do If You Suspect Negligence
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you suspect medical negligence may have led to the condition, contact a Louisville Birth Injury lawyer at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC at (800) 937-8443 for a free consultation. Our cerebral palsy attorneys can review and investigate the facts in the case, and help you to pursue the compensation deserved. Your child will have to live with the results of the act of medical negligence, and we will fight to help you seek justice and full compensation.