The birth of a baby should be a happy time, but for about five families out of every 1,000, that happiness is overshadowed by a birth injury to the newest member of the family. Cerebral palsy is one of the most frequently occurring childhood disabilities in the United States. It is a permanent illness because the parts of the brain that sustain damage during or soon after delivery do not heal over time. It can lead to lifelong disabilities, trouble speaking, growth defects, premature aging, and long-term therapy, all at a great cost to the family.
It is important to note that a birth injury is different from a birth defect. A birth injury is something the baby sustains as a result of physical trauma that occurs during the birthing process. As such, birth injuries are very often preventable. Birth defects, on the other hand, are usually the result of genetic factors such as gene mutations or developmental issues that are out of the hands of medical staff. Depending on the source of your child’s illness, the symptoms he or she exhibits, where and to what extent specific parts of the brain are damaged, and how soon therapeutic or surgical interventions can be implemented, a child may suffer only mild symptoms or may experience full-blown disabilities for as long as they live.
If your family has suffered a serious birth injury as a result of the negligence or bad decisions of medical professionals responsible for delivering, treating, or caring for your child, you have the right to seek damages. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 to learn more about your legal options, the different types of cerebral palsy your child may suffer from, how to find and pay for the treatment your child needs, how to build a case to prove medical malpractice, and the important timelines – known as the statutes of limitations – that you must file your case within if you are to successfully secure the compensation you deserve.
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What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a serious birth injury that usually develops as a result of oxygen deprivation during birth. It can happen if, during delivery, the baby gets stuck inside the birth canal or behind the mother’s pelvis. This can cut off the baby’s oxygen supply. If the baby’s brain cannot or does not receive an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood for even a few minutes, the cells of the brain can die, and certain brain functions will never again be entirely normal. The effects of this kind of injury vary from child to child, but it usually includes problems with movement, such as involuntary movements, muscle spasms, muscle tightness, and difficulty walking. Some children also develop speech problems, issues with their sight and hearing, and even seizures or epilepsy.
Some of the other causes of cerebral palsy are as follows:
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Damage to the brain’s white matter, which is responsible for sending signals throughout the brain and to the rest of the body, can lead to disruptions in the signals that control movement.
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Abnormal Brain Development
Issues that result in abnormal brain development can affect how brain signals are transmitted. Abnormal brain development can be caused by infection, fever, gene mutations, or physical trauma.
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An unborn child can have a stroke in the womb. This can lead to brain bleeding or blood clots in the brain.
As mentioned above, insufficient oxygen supply to the brain can lead to cerebral palsy, and it correlates with low blood pressure in the mother, a rupture in the uterus, detachment of the placenta, and problems of the umbilical cord, all of which can restrict the amount of oxygen that reaches the child’s brain. This is called hypoxia.
Brain damage from negligence leading to the development of cerebral palsy can occur in many different ways. For example, trauma to the baby’s head during labor or delivery can lead to cerebral palsy. This can happen if the medical staff incorrectly uses birthing devices. It can also happen if the medical team misdiagnoses the mother, incorrectly interprets the results of blood tests or scans, administers too much or too little medication of a specific type, or does not conduct tests that could have identified potential delivery issues that would then have been addressed.
Research has shown that cerebral palsy often starts to develop before birth, but about one in ten cases are caused by birth-related injuries. These injuries are sometimes unavoidable, but they can sometimes be prevented if the doctors and medical professionals managing the birth take the right corrective actions and perform the right procedures in response to a birth-related emergency. It is when a doctor performs actions or takes decisions that fall below the accepted standard of care as established by the medical community that they can be defined as medical malpractice.
How We Can Help
If you believe you or a loved one suffered a birth injury because of this type of medical negligence, speak with an experienced cerebral palsy attorney to hold the negligent medical professionals and/or the healthcare facility responsible for the outcomes that you and your child will now have to live with.
In order to file a claim for damages, we will help you with the following:
- Evaluate your case based on its merits to determine whether or not a cerebral palsy injury claim is warranted.
- Collect the evidence needed to prove how, when, why, and by whom your child sustained a birth-related injury that led to cerebral palsy.
- Interview medical and legal professionals to use their testimony in support of your case.
- Quantify your losses so you can file for a specific amount in damages.
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
The sooner you act, the better, and the better chances your child will have if he or she has access to the care and treatment needed to help rehabilitate the injuries that have led to your child’s cerebral palsy. Do not hesitate or delay and call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to start off with a free case evaluation and get your medical malpractice claim underway.