Having a child is supposed to be a uniquely happy experience. Unfortunately, if a child is born with a condition such as cerebral palsy, your happy experience may be short-lived or, at best, interrupted. It is understandable to feel concerned about what could have been done differently to prevent the condition.
You may even begin to wonder if your physician could have made a mistake that caused your child to have cerebral palsy. The error might have occurred at any time during your pregnancy, before, during, or after delivery. The most common mistakes include failing to respond promptly to medical emergencies or inappropriate use of forceps to aid delivery.
Developmental Causes of Cerebral Palsy
There is not a single cause of cerebral palsy. Besides medical errors, it can be caused by numerous conditions present in your child or the intrauterine environment. This is why it is crucial to closely monitor the pregnancy. Although not all, some dangers can be avoided, if the problem is found in time and addressed.
Developmental causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Genetic disorders
- Abnormalities in chromosomes
- Insufficient supply of blood to the brain
These conditions may occur without fault, but your medical provider may also have failed to diagnose them during your regular checkups. For example, an untreated infection can result in your child developing cerebral palsy. If you believe your newborn developed cerebral palsy due to the medical neglect of your provider, you should discuss your case with a Florida cerebral palsy lawyer immediately.
Children can develop cerebral palsy due to complications during birth. These cases can often be the result of a medical provider’s mistakes. Below are some of the most common situations and associated medical errors.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs when a child does not get enough oxygen during birth. HIE is also sometimes referred to as birth or perinatal asphyxia.
When a child experiences HIE, blood flow to the brain is cut off, which can result in cells breaking off and dying. Then toxins can be released into the brain. This process can repeat several times. This type of cell damage can result in severe developmental delays in children.
Choking or Nearly Drowning
Another common cause of cerebral palsy is nearly choking or drowning during birth. This can lead to the brain not getting the proper supply of oxygen. Medical providers can cause this particular problem by failing to respond quickly to a medical emergency, such as the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck.
Sometimes deliveries can be difficult. Babies can become stuck during labor, or their size may cause concern about safe delivery. In cases like this, the baby might require a bit of extra help. While doctors are trained to use forceps and extractors to help the delivery go more smoothly, medical mistakes can occur when using these tools.
If a physician is not extremely careful when using forceps and extractors during birth, a baby’s head can be injured. These types of head injuries can result in cerebral palsy.
Medical Mistakes Made After Delivery
After the baby is born, your medical providers should immediately do a thorough examination of the infant. One of the conditions they should be looking for is jaundice. While this can be difficult to diagnose in newborns, if left untreated, it can lead to damage to the brain cells, resulting in cerebral palsy.
Medical Malpractice and Your Rights
If your child developed cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, you have the right to pursue legal action against your medical provider. You should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who has handled cerebral palsy cases to discuss your case. They can help determine the possible cause of the condition and advise on the best course of action. Also, you can rest assured that there will be an experienced legal expert fighting for your newborn.