Cerebral Palsy Causes Include Negligence

Ryan Green | November 30th, 2012 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Cerebral palsy is a muscular disorder affecting movement and posture that is caused by brain damage. Often the injury to the brain that results in cerebral palsy occurs before or during birth. In an unfortunate number of cases, newborns develop cerebral palsy due to medical negligence or other improper actions of healthcare personnel overseeing the delivery process. In these situations, doctors, nurses, hospitals, midwives or other staff may be held liable in court for the child’s birth injury and the lifetime’s worth of expenses required for his or her medical care.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

Symptoms of cerebral palsy may appear immediately after birth, or anytime during the first three years after birth. Physical and other disabilities associated with cerebral palsy include:

  • Impaired and/or involuntary movements
  • Spinal curvature
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Rigidity or floppiness of the limbs
  • Stunted or unusual posture
  • Unsteady walking
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech impairment
  • Visual and/or auditory problems
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Seizures

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and intensive treatments last a lifetime.  A variety of therapies may be used to improve motor skills and coordination, including physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. Orthotics may be used on the ankle, foot, or leg to improve gait and balance.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves inhalation of pressurized oxygen inside a hyperbaric chamber, and has been shown in some research to help reactivate damaged brain cells.

Sometimes medications are injected into muscles to limit spasms. Surgery may be performed to loosen tight or persistently clenched muscles. Another form of surgery involves a “baclofen pump” being inserted into the abdomen and connected to the spinal cord, into which it periodically releases muscle relaxants. A surgery called “derotation osteotomy” designates the breaking and re-setting of twisted or abnormal bone formations.

Cerebral palsy is not considered a progressive disease because the damage to the brain does not exacerbate over time. However, symptoms can get worse over the course of a lifetime, making the care and treatment of the patient increasingly difficult and expensive.

Cerebral palsy causes

Some of the most frequent cerebral palsy causes include:

Negligence on the part of medical personnel in the delivery room can be the cause of cerebral palsy. Forms of negligence include failure to properly monitor fetal heart rate, improper use of forceps or vacuum devices during birth, and failure to perform a timely C-section delivery, among others.

Birth injury lawyer

If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by negligence on the part of medical staff during your child’s birth, we urge you to contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch. We understand the difficulties faced by children and families impacted by serious birth injuries, and we are passionate about helping victims obtain the monetary compensation they need and deserve.

Balkin & Eisbrouch has over 40 years of experience litigating medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits. We simplify the complex legal process and work to achieve the swiftest possible resolution to your case. Call us today for a free evaluation. We charge nothing unless we win your case.