Cerebral palsy may be a genetic mutation. However, a healthcare provider’s negligence regarding any of several aspects, such as not providing enough oxygen to the child during the delivery process, may lead to cerebral palsy.
This condition may affect your child, your family, and you as an individual for the duration of your child’s life. Caring for a person with cerebral palsy may be costly, as well as physically and emotionally draining. If a medical provider’s negligence led to the condition, they should shoulder the cost this diagnosis has and will continue to have.
A Jacksonville cerebral palsy lawyer in Florida may review your case for free and inform you of your options for pursuing compensation from the liable parties through an insurance settlement or in civil court. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.
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Types of Cerebral Palsy
The area(s) of the brain that cerebral palsy affects determines how doctors classify the condition. Key associated movement issues may include uncontrollable movements, stiff muscles, and poor coordination or balance, and each may apply to one or more of the various conditions.
The four main types of cerebral palsy are:
- Spastic cerebral palsy: characterized by stiff muscles, vision problems, and awkward movements
- Athetoid cerebral palsy: evidenced by spontaneous, involuntary movement in the arms, legs, and body, as well as difficulty articulating words
- Ataxic cerebral palsy: problems with coordination and balance
- Mixed cerebral palsy: exhibits symptoms of two or more of the above forms of cerebral palsy
The symptoms a cerebral palsy patient experiences may also change over time.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
If a baby’s brain develops abnormally, or if that development is disrupted, cerebral palsy may be the outcome. These types of developmental impacts may occur as the result of gene mutations, which cannot be controlled. However, they may happen in scenarios that could have been prevented.
Factors That May Interfere With Brain Development
Some of the medical situations that can hinder brain development and potentially cause of cerebral palsy include:
- Infections in the infant
- Infections in the mother
- Fetal stroke
- Oxygen deprivation
- Bleeding in the brain
- Traumatic head injury
It falls upon an expecting mother’s obstetrician, delivery team, and other medical providers to spot the problems that may lead to cerebral palsy so they may be able to take preventive or mitigating measures.
Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
Several conditions related to the mother, fetus, or newborn infant can increase the risk of cerebral palsy, including:
- Having more than one baby at once
- Breech presentation, in other words being born feet first
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Illness in the newborn (bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis, jaundice, bleeding into the brain)
- Infections in the mother (syphilis, herpes, zika virus, German measles, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus)
The medical professionals associated with the birth of a child should demonstrate vigilant monitoring of mother, fetus, and newborn to check for risk factors so they may be able to take appropriate preventative actions.
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How a Medical Provider’s Negligence May Cause Cerebral Palsy
Keeping in mind the risk factors associated with cerebral palsy, the healthcare professionals involved in the delivery and post-delivery of your infant should have the tools, knowledge, ability, and discipline to handle many of the problems that may lead to cerebral palsy.
Poor Response or Failure to Respond
At the first sign of fetal distress, which may occur as a complication of the fetus not getting the oxygen it needs, a medical team should be summoned for an emergency response. Often an emergency cesarean section, performed in a timely manner, may be able to prevent brain damage in the infant. If the medical team is aware of the threat and fails to act or takes too long to act, this may constitute medical negligence, and you may be able to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurance policy using a Jacksonville cerebral palsy lawyer.
Failure to Monitor or Alert
In order to intervene in this situation and prevent a possible cerebral palsy outcome, doctors need to know that the fetus is not receiving enough oxygen. This requires that nurses and other members of the delivery team be monitoring the baby’s oxygen levels. An abnormal heart rate may indicate low supply of oxygen to the infant’s brain. If a healthcare provider failed to monitor or alert the attending physician of the signs of fetal distress, they may be held liable for the possible outcomes. A Jacksonville cerebral palsy lawyer could potentially help hold the responsible parties accountable.
When medical professionals fail in any of the above facets of their job, they violate the legal premise known as duty of care. If someone suffers an injury because of such a breach of duty, the injured party may be able to file a personal injury action against the negligent party.
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Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
There are many cases of cerebral palsy which cannot be prevented, and there is currently no known cure. Treatments for cerebral palsy focus not on curing those afflicted, but rather on helping them experience fulfilling lives. Several forms of treatments may follow a cerebral palsy diagnosis, including:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
Such treatments are likely to be ongoing, and they may be costly. This is why if someone else’s negligence caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you may want to consider seeking compensation from that individual or party. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to fight for your right to receive compensation. Call us at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation with one of our Jacksonville cerebral palsy lawyers.
Every case of medical negligence or malpractice is different and may be eligible to recover different damages. Some of the types of damages you may be entitled to pursue in your case could include:
- Cost of medical treatment and expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Diminished potential earnings
Hiring a Jacksonville Cerebral Palsy Lawyer for Help With Your Claim or Case
If the negligence of a medical provider or facility led to your child’s cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to receive compensation to help cover the costs of medical treatment, as well as pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Each state has its own statute of limitations restricting the amount of time you may have to take legal action after medical negligence or malpractice. In the case of cerebral palsy, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations. Ask a Jacksonville cerebral palsy lawyer if this may be a possibility in your case.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a no-cost consultation.