Birth Injury Malpractice? You May Have a Claim
Parents of children born with cerebral palsy may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against negligent healthcare providers. Cerebral palsy, a severe motor disability, is a common birth injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain during childbirth.
The Impact of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability found in children. It impacts the body’s posture and ability to move and maintain balance. CP can severely affect brain functions as well as muscle functions caused by a lack of motor control and muscle weakness.
Cerebral palsy is a birth injury caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to the developing brain. CP is a common condition seen by medical malpractice lawyers in newborn infants who are deprived of adequate oxygen during delivery. However, CP can also develop in children before birth or after birth while the child’s brain is still developing. In some cases, CP is linked to problems during pregnancy, genetics, maternal infections, jaundice in babies, and strokes.
There are different types of CP that can develop in children, but physicians usually classify them according to areas of the brain that are affected and the types of movement disorders exhibited. Early signs of CP in babies can vary greatly. The most common sign is delayed motor movement milestones such as difficulty rolling over, sitting, standing, and walking. Common CP symptoms in babies and young children include:
- Stiffness or floppiness in limbs
- Inability to bring hands together
- Keeping hands is a fist
- Inability to roll over in any direction
- Inability to crawl on all fours
- Overextended back and neck areas
While there is no known cure for CP, conditions do not typically get worse over time. Depending on the type of CP diagnosis and the severity of brain and motor impairments, an afflicted child may require a wheelchair, braces and walking aids, physical rehabilitation, speech therapy, prescription medications, and/or surgery over the course of his/her lifetime.
If CP is suspected in infants and young children, a physician who can evaluate brain and motor functions. When the CP diagnosis is linked to lack of oxygen during childbirth, medical malpractice lawyers can seek compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence.
For additional help and information for children diagnosed with CP, parents can contact the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Services). They provide early intervention services for children (birth through 3 years of age), as well as older school-age children up to 21 years of age.