Medical malpractice doesn’t always cause cerebral palsy, but if you believe a doctor made a mistake that caused your child’s disability, it is important that you reach out to an experienced birth injury attorney before the statute of limitations expires. Cerebral palsy is often caused when a child is deprived of oxygen or suffers a brain injury during labor and/or delivery. This can sometimes occur when a nurse or doctor fails to monitor the infant’s oxygen levels, fails to notice that the infant’s oxygen supply has been cut off, or does not take the proper steps to address a lack of oxygen.
When the Cleveland cerebral palsy attorneys at The Mellino Law Firm handle birth injury cases, we have many goals. First, we want to make sure the family has the financial resources to maximize the child’s ability to function in the world. This includes access to specialists and any medical equipment that he or she may need. At the same time, we seek accountability from negligent healthcare providers. When handling medical malpractice claims, we strive to create institutional changes to ensure that other families don’t have to deal with the devastating consequences associated with cerebral palsy.
Contact us online or by phone at (440) 276-3535 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.
Types of Cerebral Palsy & Symptoms
According to Medical News Today, “The word cerebral refers to the area in the brain that is affected, while palsy means complete or partial muscle paralysis, frequently accompanied by loss of sensation and uncontrollable body movements or tremors.”
Cerebral palsy is often classified by:
- severity (mild, moderate, or severe)
- the body part that is affected and whether that body part is weakened or paralyzed
- motor function (spastic v. non-spastic)
- muscle tone (rigid limbs v. loose limbs)
- The Gross Motor Function Classification System
Parents may begin to notice cerebral palsy symptoms while their child is still a baby; however, symptoms may not manifest for up to three years.
If a child has cerebral palsy, parents may notice that he or she:
- Has poor coordination or balance
- Slouches while sitting or lies in an awkward position
- Starts walking, talking, and crawling later than other children
- Favors one side of the body
- Finds it difficult to feed or swallow
- Appears to have trouble hearing or seeing
If a child suffers from athetoid cerebral palsy, his or her arms, legs, and hands may move involuntarily. Dyskinetic, or dystonic, cerebral palsy also causes uncontrollable muscle contractions but affects the entire body and can even cause breathing and vocal problems. Cerebral palsy can cause lifelong problems with motor and nervous system function, hearing, vision, speech, and intellectual development.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Generally speaking, cerebral palsy is caused by injuries to the brain, including lack of oxygen. While these types of injuries can occur while the baby is still in the womb, they may also occur as a result of medical malpractice or negligence during delivery.
Some of those injuries include:
- Hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain
- An infection such as meningitis or encephalitis
- Jaundice, caused by too much bilirubin in the blood
- A maternal infection such as rubella, or German measles
- Bleeding in the brain
- A head injury
If a healthcare provider caused a birth injury, such as head trauma, or failed to diagnose/misdiagnosed an infection that led to cerebral palsy, he or she may be held liable for medical malpractice. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of filing a lawsuit, but surgeries, physical therapy, and medical expenses can add up quickly. A verdict or settlement can help pay those bills and give peace of mind to those who worry what will happen to their child if something happens to them.
Contact The Mellino Law Firm Today
Our Cleveland cerebral palsy lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of medical malpractice and birth injury claims, including those involving cerebral palsy. We are committed to defending our clients’ rights and fighting to recover the full, fair compensation they are owed. Our team has a proven track record of success, having secured multiple million- and multimillion-dollar settlements and jury verdicts throughout our three-plus decades in practice.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation; call (440) 276-3535 today.