What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Birth Trauma, Delivery Mistakes & Infections
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that impede the brain’s control of movement. Because cerebral palsy is an umbrella term, there can be various causes of the disorder. Although not all causes are clearly known, there are certain conditions and events related to childbirth that are known to result in cerebral palsy. For example, it has been estimated that an inadequate supply of oxygen to a child’s brain during the delivery process is responsible for close to 10% of all cerebral palsy cases.
Failing to deliver a child in a timely manner, failing to convert to a Cesarean section, and using forceps or a vacuum extractor incorrectly can all lead to cerebral palsy. Additionally, blood conditions may result in jaundice, which is another cause of cerebral palsy. Infections in pregnant women have also been shown to cause the disorder, as can drug or alcohol use during pregnancy. Finally, brain infections and head injuries in the child can lead to severe brain damage and, thus, result in cerebral palsy.
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as a direct result of your doctor’s negligence or incompetence, we encourage you to contact our firm today: (410) 983-3535.
How Birth Injuries Are Connected to Cerebral Palsy
Unfortunately, more and more doctors and nurses are making mistakes that affect newborns and their families for an entire lifetime. In fact, most cases of cerebral palsy are preventable. Although in some cases it can be difficult to determine the cause, early or late delivery, incorrect medication, and failure to use the appropriate birthing method account for a large majority of cerebral palsy cases.
Studies have shown that the main causes of cerebral palsy relate to:
- Forceps delivery
- Vacuum extraction delivery
- Exceptionally prolonged labor
- Low levels of amniotic fluid
- Twisted, compressed, or tangled umbilical cord
- Macrosomia or a baby that is too big for its development
- Placental abruption
- Excessive bleeding
- Failure to convert to a C-section
If your loved one has suffered a birth injury that you believe may have caused cerebral palsy, you should contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A.
Infections & Cerebral Palsy
Women with preexisting infections may be more likely to give birth to a child with cerebral palsy than women without infections. Specifically, infections of the uterus, bladder or kidneys, or bloodstream have been shown to be very dangerous. Children were nine times as likely to suffer from cerebral palsy if their mothers had any of these conditions. Other infections, such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and reproductive or urinary tract infections, may also cause brain damage.
If your child has cerebral palsy, it is important to contact a Baltimore birth injury attorney who can explain your legal rights as a parent.
In some situations, doctors do a poor job of addressing a mother’s infection or misdiagnose, resulting in the unthinkable: a lifelong disorder that could have been prevented with adequate medical attention. Call the experienced team at The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A. today to discuss how your family can recover for such an unfortunate oversight.
Delivery Mistakes & Cerebral Palsy
It is widely believed that many cerebral palsy cases are a direct result of medical malpractice that occurs at the time of delivery. For example, a prolonged rupture of the amniotic membranes, slow fetal heart rate during labor, complications stemming from umbilical cord placement, and abnormal presentation of the child can all cause this condition. Procedural errors made by doctors can also have serious consequences. Doctors need to ensure that the baby gets enough oxygen during delivery.
If complications arise, it is the medical staff’s responsibility to act quickly and save the lives of both the baby and the mother. This may require a cesarean section to prevent birth asphyxia, a condition that can result in brain damage, cerebral palsy, or even death. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you have any suspicion at all that his or her condition could have been prevented, you should call us immediately for a free consultation. Our experienced trial lawyers are here to assist you.
Cerebral Palsy in Children
Children with cerebral palsy often need much more attention than other children. Special needs for movement, interaction, and communication are sometimes frustrating, and without special help, it is difficult to know where to turn. The most important thing to realize is that most children with cerebral palsy have the capacity for intellectual and emotional development. Life may be more challenging, but that should not prevent you from encouraging and enabling your child to grow and explore.
Schooling is also a complicated issue for caring for children with cerebral palsy. Although the law dictates that these children have the right to attend school with other children, the reality is that these children have special needs that some schools lack the ability to address. Special inclusion programs mix disabled and healthy children into a single learning environment to teach them about differences.
Another important issue many parents of children with cerebral palsy must consider is that many of the support services available to such families end on either the child’s 18th or 21st birthday. The prospect of disabled children facing the world is often more than most parents can bear, but the increasing cost of medical care in the United States often forces these children into special group homes or caretaking hospitals. Regardless of their condition, your child needs your continued love and support.
Caring for Children with Cerebral Palsy
For children with special needs, basic necessities such as food, toys, doctor’s appointments, education, and mobility equipment can cost three or four times more. Children with cerebral palsy need focused long-term treatment in order to reach their maximum potential. Fortunately, there are numerous types of therapy, and advances in technology have greatly assisted those with special needs.
In fact, physical and speech therapy, medications, surgeries, and supportive technology have allowed children with special needs to live independent and productive lives. Unfortunately, all of this comes with a very high price. That’s where we can help you. We will investigate your claim to determine exactly what happened and whether or not someone else is responsible for these costs.
Although there are many other causes of cerebral palsy, without question, medical malpractice during labor and delivery continues to be a major cause of these catastrophic birth injuries. Forceps injuries, vacuum damage, improper medication, asphyxiation, poorly timed or aggravated delivery, or failure to timely perform a C-Section can cause lifelong suffering to both the child and their parents.
Call the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A. for a free consultation. We can answer any questions you may have – call (410) 983-3535.