birth injuries

Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

November 10, 2016

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a neurological condition that causes lifelong problems with movement, muscle tone, or posture. Some people with CP also have trouble with hearing, vision, speech, intellectual development, and other functions of the nervous system.

When a doctor examines your child, any symptoms your child has may be classified by:

  • Is the symptom mild, moderate, or severe?
  • Location and effect. Which body parts are affected? Are they weakened or paralyzed?
  • Motor function. Are the muscles spastic (too tense) or non-spastic (too floppy)?
  • Muscle tone. Are the limbs held rigidly or loosely?
  • The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). This inventory helps your doctor decide which types of treatment will offer the greatest benefit for your child’s particular symptoms. Surgery, therapies, and assistive technology are all commonly used to help people with CP achieve their goals.

Cerebral palsy is often caused by “an insult to the immature or developing brain,” according to the Mayo Clinic. In other words, cerebral palsy is frequently the result of a birth injury. The most common preventable cause of CP is the baby not getting enough oxygen during the labor process. Malpractice errors that might result in CP include failing to recognize or treat seizures, jaundice, or meningitis; failing to use the appropriate methods to ensure the baby’s safe birth (such as a C-section, or proper treatments for fetal distress); or using inappropriate treatments or techniques during birth, like forceps or vacuum extraction.

When parents discover their child has CP, they may not connect this fact to the events surrounding their child’s birth. In the rush to find a diagnosis, talk to doctors, and secure the services your child will need to live his or her best life with CP. It’s normal to overlook how cerebral palsy might have occurred, but this mistake can also have consequences.

When you investigate the cause of your child’s condition, you may discover that medical malpractice during the birth of your child resulted in cerebral palsy. With this information in hand, you can seek the compensation your child deserves – and that will allow your child to live with maximum quality of life.