What is cerebral palsy? Was my child’s cerebral palsy caused by medical error? – hancock medicalMarch 18, 2021
Pregnancy for an expecting woman is generally a time for joyous thoughts, reflection, preparation and nervous elation in anticipation of the delivery date. For many expecting mothers the day of delivery reveals a perfectly healthy baby ready to live in a non-amniotic world. Unfortunately some women face a delicate situation where delivery complications lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy. It is possible that some of these women with a newborn or child who has cerebral palsy may be able to sue for damages with representation by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), medical professionals use the term to partially describe various neurological disorders that may be detected at birth or during early childhood and which cause permanent limitations in terms of physical movement and muscle coordination but do not worsen as time progresses. Although the disorder affects movement and muscle coordination, the affected areas are not the result of muscle or nerve malfunction but rather the consequence of abnormalities in the brain. The severity or lack thereof of the cerebral palsy affecting the baby or child depends on how the brain damage occurred and the part of the brain that was damaged. For instance, children with cerebral palsy exhibit different degrees of mobility and impairment whether it is a slight drag to one leg, muscle stiffness in both legs, writhing movements, seizures , delayed speech, and can be as harsh as frequent uncontrollable seizures coupled with severe mental retardation, floppy neck and stiff limbs making it impossible to walk. The preceding symptoms are only a few of the signs that a child with cerebral palsy may manifest.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
In some cases the cause may be lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. According to NINDS there are some instances where the disorder commences after birth and could be attributed to brain damage in the first few months or years of life caused by, “brain infection, injury to the head from a vehicular accident, fall or child abuse.” In the majority of cases, it is the result of injury to specific areas of the brain whether the culprits are genetic deviations, damage to the fetus or maternal infections or fevers to name a few. The damage may be in the form of injury to the white brain matter, abnormal development of the brain, bleeding of the brain, or harm to the cerebral motor cortex and other areas of the brain.
How Can I Protect Myself? What Are the Risk Factors? Was There Carelessness or Error By The Doctor Or Hospital Staff Which Caused My Child’s Birth Injuries?
The following risk factors even if present may not necessarily cause cerebral palsy but special attention should be given to them especially since they pose a risk. By becoming informed you can take precautionary measures or discover that you were not properly advised or given the best medical care by the doctor or medical staff and therefore did not receive the opportunity to mitigate or eliminate a situation conducive to cerebral palsy. Scenarios such as underweight infant, multiple births, infections during pregnancy, premature birth, conflicting blood types, and contamination by toxic substances are some of the circumstances that elevate the risk of the occurrence of cerebral palsy. If you are currently pregnant then you as well as your physician should be paying close attention to the following conditions which may result in birth defects such as cerebral palsy: baby positioned feet first prior to labor, newborn suffering from vascular or respiratory complications while subjected to a difficult delivery, undersized despite gestational age, a poor Apgar score indicates the baby’s vitals reflect potential problems, severe untreated jaundice may result in the death of brain cells and an infant afflicted with seizures.
How Do I Know If I Need To Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney?
The most obvious case in which you should seek the legal advice of a seasoned medical malpractice legal team is one where problems with the delivery resulted in an extended period of lack of oxygen to the newborn’s brain. Or perhaps it was error by the medical team for its failure to note the existence of incompatible blood types thereby resulting in a blood reaction that damaged the baby’s blood supply and brain function. The reality is that there could be a myriad of possibilities as to whether the cerebral palsy disorder was caused by the mistake or error of the physician or medical team. Therefore, the best course of action to take in a case of possible medical malpractice resulting in cerebral palsy is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who is highly experienced in cerebral palsy lawsuits.
What is Cerebral Palsy? – hancock medical
Cerebral palsy is defined as an array of symptoms that involve movement disability that are non-progressive and are not caused by a precise disease. It is a medical syndrome rather than a well-defined disorder because it has a multitude of variable symptoms and may develop due to different causes. Whatever the type and the intensity of symptoms, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to motor centers, which are brain centers responsible for movement, and this damage can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or in children up to three years old. If paralysis or a movement disability occurs after this age and is related to a certain disease, then it is not cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy occurs in small children because of some unfortunate event that took place during pregnancy, childbirth or their initial growth stages, and causes brain impairment that translates into movement disabilities. Symptoms include spasticity and contractures, which means that the muscles are abnormally tight and fixed, and involuntary movements, such as facial expressions, balance impairment, abnormal posture, decreased muscle mass and a limited range of movements. Secondary symptoms associated with cerebral palsy in children include seizures, speech impairment, learning disabilities, urinary and fecal incontinence, behavioral problems and mental retardation.
Cerebral palsy is frequently caused by a medical mistake or failure to take action when necessary during or after a problematic pregnancy. The most commonly encountered cause of this severe medical disorder is asphyxia or hypoxia during pregnancy or birth, which means that the child’s brain was not getting enough oxygen. Birth trauma, sometimes due to medical negligence or imprudence, is also a frequent cause of cerebral palsy symptoms in children. Untreated infections, radiation and toxic substances exposure may also lead to cerebral palsy development. While many of these risk factors are difficult to recognize and manage, several of them are easily identifiable by medical professionals if careful examination and preventive measures are performed during pregnancy or after childbirth.
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy symptoms and you have reason to believe that it is caused by a medical error or failure to take action during pregnancy or after birth, then you should consider getting advice from a professional New York City medical malpractice attorney. Don’t hesitate to call us, and find out how a medical malpractice legal expert can help your case.