Cerebral Palsy and Hypoxia

Staff Writer | February 6th, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Cerebral Palsy CausesMedical complications during labor and delivery can cause severe and permanent injuries to the child. Some of the most serious birth injuries stem from the child being deprived of oxygen, a medical condition known as hypoxia or asphyxia. A lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage and the development of injuries such as cerebral palsy, diminished cognitive abilities, breathing difficulties, hearing loss, vision loss, learning disabilities and seizures. If the child’s birth injuries were caused by medical negligence, a cerebral palsy lawyer can evaluate the potential legal claim and determine if the family is eligible to receive compensation.

Causes and signs of hypoxia during childbirth

There are multiple pregnancy complications that may occur during the delivery that can lead to the child becoming oxygen deprived. Common causes of hypoxia and asphyxia include umbilical cord issues, rupture of the uterus, having a delayed vaginal delivery rather than a c-section, excessive force used to pull the child from the birth canal, breech birth, the child being overweight or underweight, premature birth, and intrauterine infection. During labor and delivery the medical staff is responsible for carefully monitoring the mother and fetus. The physician must recognize and treat any symptoms of hypoxia or asphyxia immediately to prevent the fetus from sustaining injuries.

Signs that the child has sustained brain damage due to hypoxia or asphyxia may not be immediately apparent after birth. Physicians are usually able to detect that oxygen deprivation caused brain damage when the baby has skin discoloration shortly after birth, experiences seizures within the first two days after delivery, has difficulty being fed, abnormally high levels of acid is present in the umbilical cord, and the baby has difficulty waking up from sleep.

Cerebral palsy

When the brain doesn’t receive sufficient amounts of oxygen, the child could suffer from permanent brain damage and develop cerebral palsy. The medical staff may not be able to diagnosis the newborn baby with cerebral palsy since symptoms often don’t become apparent for three to four years. Cerebral palsy causes the child to have poor muscle coordination, seizures, limited range of motion, involuntary movements and muscle stiffness. Additional symptoms include difficulty walking, incontinence, speech problems, hearing or vision impairment, and learning disabilities.

When an unborn child displays signs of fetal distress, the medical staff should be sufficiently trained and equipped to handle the emergency situation. The treating physician and medical staff owe a duty of reasonable care to the mother and child. If healthcare providers failed to fulfill this duty and their actions caused the child to suffer injuries that would have otherwise been avoidable, they may be held liable. The family can seek compensation for the child’s medical expenses such as medication, physical therapy, medical equipment, and supervised nursing care as well as other damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Talk to a cerebral palsy lawyer

Taking care of a child with cerebral palsy and other injuries can place a substantial financial burden on the family. The attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch understand the emotional and financial hardships of families who have been victims of medical malpractice. If medical professionals are responsible for causing the injuries to your child, they should be held accountable for their negligent actions. By filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, it is possible to recover the compensation needed to provide for your child’s needs with a birth injury settlement. Contact a cerebral palsy lawyer for a free consultation so that you can find out the legal options available.