Three Things to Know about Cerebral Palsy and Medical Negligence

Posted by Anapol Weiss on May 26, 2016 11:30:00 AM

One in 323 babies is born with cerebral palsy, a physical disability that affects movement and posture in a variety of ways. The disability is caused by problems with brain development before, at, or after birth. Most of the time, cerebral palsy is congenital and the specific cause may not be known. In some cases, however, a medical care provider’s mistake can result in a baby developing the condition.

Certain risk factors make a baby more likely to develop cerebral palsy. These risk factors include premature babies or babies with low birth weights, multiple births such as twins, and complications during labor including breech births.


In about 10 to 15 percent of cases, however, cerebral palsy results from a birth injury caused by negligence. Below are three factors related to medical negligence that can lead to this type of lifelong injury.

  1. Cerebral palsy can develop as a result of undiagnosed or untreated infections in the mother during pregnancy. Infections like toxoplasmosis, rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes can all increase a baby’s risk of cerebral palsy. Mothers can protect themselves against some of these infections, such as rubella, through vaccination before pregnancy. Be aware of your health throughout your pregnancy, and make sure that your doctor is monitoring any suspicious infections.
  2. A mother and her baby can have different blood types. A condition called Rh incompatibility means that the mother’s Rh blood type (either positive or negative) is different from that of her baby. This condition can cause brain damage and severe jaundice, one of the major risk factors for cerebral palsy. This disorder can usually be prevented with injections of Rh immune globulin both during pregnancy and after birth. Expectant mothers should be aware of these risks and discuss them with a doctor.
  3. Restricted oxygen to the infant’s brain during labor or birth can lead to cerebral palsy. Asphyxia, a condition in which the brain does not receive oxygen, can have dangerous ramifications. Several types of birth injuries cause asphyxia, including umbilical cord problems, hemorrhaging, prolonged delivery, and maternal shock. An estimated 6 to 8 percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused by birth asphyxia.
The vast majority of medical care professionals work attentively to be sure that all risks are minimized. However, doctors sometimes make mistakes or commit negligence that can lead to a lifetime of problems for babies with cerebral palsy and their families.

Contact our birth injury lawyers if you or a loved one has been affected by cerebral palsy. We can investigate the situation, determine if you were a victim of negligence, and help you to gain the support you need to battle this disability.

Topics: Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Medical Negligence, Cerebral Palsy

Why File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Apr 29, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Medical malpractice is not the only contributing factor to cerebral palsy. In addition to preventable birth trauma and lack of oxygen during birth, this incurable neurological disorder can result from brain malformation and other issues no one can prevent.

As a birth injury, however, cerebral palsy can result from the negligence of a medical professional before, during and/or after a baby is born. The following actions by the attending health care provider can result in a child suffering from the condition:

  • Failure to detect and treat an infection in a pregnant mother
  • Failure to detect and act on umbilical cord problems
  • Failure to perform a needed cesarean section
  • Failure to respond to abnormal fetal monitor tracings
  • Traumatic delivery

A baby may not be diagnosed with cerebral palsy until body movement and muscle coordination issues become clear, which could take years after a baby is born. Even after a physician determines a child has cerebral palsy, identifying the cause is a complex process that requires extensive knowledge and skill.


Choosing to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

It may be difficult for parents to see beyond the immediate needs of a baby with cerebral palsy, but there are many factors to consider. Their child will likely need future treatment, therapy and other long-term care and possibly medical equipment. In addition to obtaining compensation for these future needs, a cerebral palsy lawsuit holds hospital staff accountable for the harm they caused. It can also stop a similar situation from happening to another family.

The first step is to contact an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer to discuss the events leading to the child’s birth and injuries. The lawyer and his or her legal team can then investigate important details about what happened and determine whether negligence is to blame. Victims who have grounds for a cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuit can then move forward with seeking compensation and justice.

The attorneys at Anapol Weiss have decades of success advocating for children who were permanently harmed during birth. If your baby was injured during birth, we can help. Contact our firm for assistance.


Topics: Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Medical Negligence, Cerebral Palsy

How does a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Differ from Other Types?

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Mar 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles. The condition is caused by an abnormality in brain development or damage to the developing brain. Brain damage that causes cerebral palsy can occur before, during or after birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CEREBRAL_PALSY_BIRTH_INJURY.pngThere are four main types of cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy accounts for 80 percent of those with the condition; this type is identified by still muscles that cause difficulty moving. People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy may experience uncontrollable movements. Ataxic cerebral palsy involves problems with balance and coordination when walking, reaching or writing. Some people have mixed cerebral palsy, which includes symptoms of more than one type.

Signs of cerebral palsy primarily involve a delay reaching movement milestones such as rolling over or walking.

When is a Child’s Cerebral Palsy a Malpractice Issue?

Not every case of cerebral palsy involves malpractice. However, medical negligence can cause a newborn to suffer from the following conditions that may lead to cerebral palsy:

  • Anoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Hypoxia, or reduced supply of oxygen to the brain
  • Head trauma

These medical emergencies may occur as a result of:

  • Failure to properly monitor a baby’s fetal heart rate
  • Umbilical cord problems that went untreated
  • Failure to perform a medically necessary Caesarian section
  • Failure to detect and treat infections in the mother during pregnancy
  • Other medical mistakes

Parents who suspect their child has the condition often consult with a cerebral palsy lawyer, who can then investigate the care the mother and baby received before, during and after the birth. If medical malpractice is to blame, filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit can then allow families to seek compensation for their child’s future medical bills and other expenses related to the condition.

Contact our firm for assistance if you believe a birth injury might be to blame for your child’s cerebral palsy. Our medical malpractice lawyers can help.


Topics: Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Medical Negligence, Cerebral Palsy

Determining if Medical Malpractice Caused Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Feb 11, 2016 11:35:00 AM

Cerebral palsy is a serious and lifelong condition that can result from a lack of oxygen during birth, premature delivery, or birth trauma.

Cerebral_Palsy_and_Med_Mal.jpgNot all cases of cerebral palsy involve medical malpractice. In many cases, medical professionals act carefully and responsibly before, during and after a baby is born. However, negligence and careless mistakes can result in this life-altering situation.

Cerebral palsy causes associated with medical negligence include:

  • Failure to detect and treat an infection in the mother during pregnancy
  • Failure to properly monitor fetal heart rate during labor and delivery
  • Failure to detect umbilical cord issues
  • Failure to perform a cesarean section when needed
  • Other medical mistakes

A proper diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which permanently hinders body movement and muscle coordination, may not be made for years after a baby is born. Even after a physician determines that a child has cerebral palsy, identifying the cause of cerebral palsy is complex and requires extensive knowledge and skill.

Parents who suspect their child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a medical mistake should speak with a lawyer immediately. An experienced legal team can investigate the details of the situation and get much needed answers.

We can help if a birth injury might be to blame for your child’s cerebral palsy. Contact our firm today for assistance.


Topics: Medical Malpractice, Birth Injuries, Medical Negligence, Cerebral Palsy

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