Cerebral palsy is a permanent neurological disorder that causes impaired muscle coordination and severe disruption in the body’s nervous system.
While this condition can occur for a variety of reasons during pregnancy or shortly after birth, in some instances, cerebral palsy is a direct result of medical malpractice .
If you suspect that your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a health care provider’s negligence, it is important to contact Gordon & Partners’s medical malpractice lawyers in West Palm Beach. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy and determine if it was preventable and caused by medical negligence.
How Medical Malpractice Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is the most common type of motor disability diagnosed in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although there are several reasons a child can develop cerebral palsy, can include:
- Brain cell death during the birthing process – This can occur when a traumatic brain injury ruptures blood vessels or deprives a baby’s brain of vital oxygen.
- Lack of oxygen – If a child suffers from a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or birth, he or she may be at risk of developing cerebral palsy.
- Infection – An infant who suffers an infection may be at risk of suffering damage to his or her brain cells, which could lead to him or her developing cerebral palsy.
- Lack of prenatal insulation of developing nerve cell fibers – If a child’s nerve fibers transmitting information from the brain to different areas of the body do not have adequate protection, he or she may be at risk of cerebral palsy.
- Prolonged labor – A difficult labor may result in brain compression while the baby is in the birth canal and can result in cerebral palsy.
In some cases, cerebral palsy occurs when a health care provider commits a medical error during the mother’s pregnancy or while delivering a newborn infant. Some possible forms of medical malpractice that may cause cerebral palsy include:
- Failing to diagnose – A physician may fail to diagnose an infection in the mother or anticipate likely complications that may arise during the birthing process.
- Failing to perform a Cesarean section– A Cesarean section is a complicated procedure that some doctors may postpone performing because of the associated risks. However, in some cases, failing to order a C-section can result in a fetus begin deprived oxygen and other essential needs. This can lead to oxygen deprivation, which can lead to cerebral palsy.
- Failing to treat for umbilical cord issues – The umbilical cord may become damaged or entangled, potentially resulting in the loss of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Another potential issue is a prolapsed umbilical cord in which the umbilical cord is delivered before the baby.
- Failing to respond to fetal distress – Even if a baby is deprived of oxygen, disastrous results can sometimes be avoided if a physician quickly responds to the situation. Health care providers should carefully monitor the fetal heart rate to quickly spot possible signs of distress.
- Improperly using delivery tools – The improper use of delivery tools like forceps or a vacuum extractor may be the result of medical negligence.
Although many medical malpractice cases regarding cerebral palsy are directed against individual health care providers, hospitals can also be held liable for medical negligence.
Hospitals are expected to have policies that protect the safety of patients and ensure the sterility of facilities. Additionally, they are responsible for hiring qualified health care providers who have the adequate training, credentials and appropriate medical backgrounds to safely treat and deliver newborn infants.
How an Attorney Can Help
A qualified birth injury attorney will be able to recognize when a child’s cerebral palsy is the result of medical negligence.
Your attorney will investigate the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy and find evidence that enables him or her to build a case that supports your claim.
Additionally, an attorney will have access to expert medical witness who can testify how the at-fault health care provider was negligent. This includes how he or she failed to provide the same level of treatment as a qualified health care provider with the same training and under similar circumstances.
Furthermore, a lawyer will know how cerebral palsy can affect a person and will use this knowledge to determine a fair amount of compensation you and your family may be entitled to recover. This includes estimating the future need for your child’s physical, speech and cognitive therapy and medical care needed to treat his or her condition.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was due to a medical error, it is important to thoroughly discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.
A skilled West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer will help you pursue the compensation your child needs to help pay for the medical care and treatment he or she needs.
At Gordon & Partners, we have decades of combined legal experience pursuing justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge upfront fees for our services. We will only require payment if we help you obtain compensation for your case.
Complete a Free Case Evalaution form to get started.