Cerebral Palsy in America: A Devastating Type of Medical Neglect

Cerebral Palsy in America: A Devastating Type of Medical Neglect

In the U.S., cerebral palsy is known as one of the most common types of disorders that affects children for the rest of their lives. In fact, every year, around 8,000 to 10,000 people are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, many of which are diagnosed around birth. Cerebral palsy is extremely complicated and can take many forms, some of which are very minor and some of which are very serious and even life-threatening. But what is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a child’s brain and can cause severe motor deficiencies, leading to partial or full muscle paralysis in some parts of the body. The brain damage that causes this disorder tends to happen before, during, or after birth, and can lead to lifetime disability for a child. In some cases, scientists and medical researchers believe that this disorder can happen when the mother receives a certain type of infection before delivery, and in other cases, it is believed to happen due to medical malpractice.

Understanding the Causes of Cerebral Palsy 

Congenital cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common types and happens before or during childbirth. Here are some of the most common causes of this type of CP:

Infections: If the mother has an infection during the pregnancy, there is a higher chance of a child receiving a diagnosis of CP sometime within the first few hours of its birth. This can include infections such as cytomegalovirus, chicken pox, and rubella, among others. Infants can receive brain damage from tiny proteins that act as receptors in a mother’s body. 

Multiple Births: If a mother has more than one birth, there is an increased likelihood that CP could occur due to low birth weight.

Low Birth Weight: If an infant is born under five pounds, they are more likely to develop CP. This means that prematurely-born infants should always be monitored for this disorder, as well as many other factors. 

Birth Problems: There are increased risks of CP when a variety of birth problems occur, such as a uterine rupture, placental issues, and umbilical cord problems.

When CP Happens Due to Medical Negligence

On some occasions, the actions or inactions that are taken during the pregnancy, during the birth process, or after birth can lead to CP in an infant as well, in which case, a medical provider could be held liable for this devastating diagnosis. This is especially true in the many cases each year where a physician fails to identify medical issues or does not take the correct actions during the birth process. Here are some of the most common forms of medical negligence that can easily lead to this disorder:

  • Failure to assess an infant’s heartbeat during the delivery;
  • Failure to schedule a C-section when it is absolutely necessary;
  • Failure to detect and treat infections in the mother;
  • Failure to use forceps or vacuum tools correctly during birth;
  • Failure to supply oxygen to the child; and/or
  • Failure to monitor respiratory treatments of the child.

There are many cases of CP that can be prevented every year in the United States, which is preferred due to the fact that physicians understand that CP could lead to a lifetime of cognitive issues and other related medical problems that could have a huge and lasting impact on an infant. Some of the ways that CP is prevented is by proper prenatal care of a mother, ensuring that vaccines are up to date, reducing the risk of infections, and understanding your blood type. If a medical care provider does not help a parent accurately prevent CP in these ways or engages in one of the previously mentioned aspects, it can lead to serious, and even fatal, results to a child. From there, you might have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim against a care provider who caused your child’s harm.

Was it Medical Negligence?

Cerebral Palsy in America: A Devastating Type of Medical NeglectUnder the law, there are certain medical standards that must be abided by at all times. If a professional engaged in treatment or lack of treatment that was unreasonable and, under these circumstances, you or your child were harmed, there is a high chance that you will be able to bring a claim for compensation. It is imperative to understand that children with CP will need years of treatment and therapy, which means that you could receive significant damages in your case, especially because CP is a lifelong disorder that will not go away on its own. In some cases, your child could be permanently impacted in such distressing ways that they will never be able to hold a career and will be dependent on a parent or caretaker for the remainder of their life.

As a patient or the parent of a child with CP, you must be able to show that the injuries resulted in disability, future loss of income, unusual pain, emotional distress, or many other types of aspects that can cause harm to your child and impact the rest of their life.

Moving Forward with a Claim 

Because the actual causes of cerebral palsy are still being studied, it can sometimes be difficult to come to terms with the fact that a medical provider you trusted may have contributed to your child’s disorder. We trust medical professionals with our lives and any mishap can lead to a lifetime of distrust and resentment. It is normal to feel this way. If you believe that a care provider acted in a negligent manner and you wonder how you can move forward, our attorneys at Brady, Brady & Reilly are here for you to help you protect your rights and bring a personal injury claim on behalf of your child. We will stand by your side as you bring a medical malpractice claim and work toward results that you and your family deserve. Please contact us today to find out how we can help in your time of need at (201) 997-0030.