Cerebral palsy is the term for neurological disorders that may affect speech, muscle movement, and cognitive abilities. Some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by preventable medical errors during labor and delivery.
When doctors or nurses fail to provide adequate care during birth or fail to properly respond to common birth complications, the infant may develop cerebral palsy as a result. Symptoms of cerebral palsy do not necessarily become apparent until the child is older, so parents will not know immediately if a birth injury is responsible for the condition. When doctors or nurses make medical mistakes during labor and delivery, the hospital often actively discourages them from admitting errors. This means that parents might not be told the truth about what happened to their child.
The cerebral palsy attorneys at Doehrman Buba have more than 70 years of combined experience helping families uncover the truth about what happened to their child at birth that may have resulted in this condition. We will review your labor and delivery records for free with independent medical experts and objective doctors to determine if you and your child have a potential case of medical malpractice causing cerebral palsy.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological conditions that causes impaired movement, sensory abilities, and cognition. The condition is caused by brain damage or malformations before, during, or after birth.
Cerebral palsy symptoms can vary in severity. Some children will have language, vision, or hearing disabilities. Others may have difficulty controlling movements. Intellectual disability is also possible in children who have cerebral palsy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are four types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, which occurs in about 80 percent of cases, creates muscle stiffness and difficulty moving the limbs. Different parts of the body and brain can be affected, meaning speech and intellectual disabilities are also possible.
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy makes it difficult for children to control limb movements. Children with this form of cerebral palsy often have an uncontrollable jerking of the limbs.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy makes children have difficulties balancing and coordinating movements. Difficulty walking or reaching for objects are common symptoms of ataxic cerebral palsy.
- Mixed cerebral palsy occurs when children have one or more symptoms from other types.
How Can Medical Malpractice at Birth Cause Cerebral Palsy?
Some forms of cerebral palsy are caused before birth by infections during pregnancy or genetic predispositions. Acquired cerebral palsy is caused by injuries, most often during delivery or 28 days after birth.
Brain injury can cause acquired cerebral palsy, either by oxygen deprivation (hypoxic brain injury), failing to treat health conditions, or blunt force trauma.
- Doctors may make mistakes while performing cesareans sections or C-sections, leading to oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
- The negligent use of vacuum and forceps can cause blunt force trauma brain injuries and cerebral palsy.
- Babies born with jaundice or who develop meningitis are at risk for brain damage if the conditions are not treated properly.
What Are the Lifetime Costs for Children with Cerebral Palsy?
The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary widely, and therefore so can the lifetime costs. The costs associated with a permanent disability include but are not limited to:
- Treatments and therapy by various specialized professions, including developmental pediatricians, audiologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, speech pathologists, and more
- Rehabilitation and long-term care
- Orthoses, or braces, for limbs and back
- Medications for seizures
- Mechanical aids
- Renovations and accommodations for houses and cars
- Lost income for both parents and children
Did Your Child Acquire Cerebral Palsy at Birth?
If there were complications during birth and your child is now experiencing symptoms of cerebral palsy, you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible.
Our Indianapolis cerebral palsy attorneys will review hospital records with independent medical experts to help families discover if their child may have been injured by medical malpractice. If you believe your child may have acquired cerebral palsy from medical malpractice, you can reach out to us by filling out our online form or by contacting our office at (888) 494-3765 for a free consultation.