What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects the child’s movement control. It can be caused by an injury to the child’s brain before, during, or after the birth, and in many cases is due to preventable medical error.
How common is cerebral palsy?
Approximately two out of every 1,000 new babies will have cerebral palsy. About 10,000 infants are diagnosed with this crippling condition every year. A study conducted in 2002 found that among 8-year-old children, the rate was one in 278. Only autism causes disability in a greater number of children than cerebral palsy.
What signs at birth indicate that your baby might develop cerebral palsy?
If you had a normal pregnancy and have no family history of brain disease and one of these situations applies to the birth of your child, it is strongly indicative of the possibility that a medical error may have taken place that deprived the baby of oxygen or caused an infection that could cause cerebral palsy:
- Your membranes ruptured and the birth was delayed beyond 24 hours
- Your baby suffered seizures in the first day or two of life
- Your baby did not breathe immediately after birth
- Your baby had poor muscle tone or was “floppy”
- Your baby had meconium (fecal matter) staining
- Your baby had trouble sucking
- Your baby looked blue
- Your baby had difficulty maintaining normal body temperature
- Your baby was transferred to Intensive Care
- You were sent home without your baby
- An MRI was ordered for your baby
What are some specific medical errors that might have caused the cerebral palsy
These are a few, but not all, of the specific medical errors that might cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy:
- Failure or delay in doing a C-section with fetal distress
- Failure to monitor the baby properly during labor
- Failure to deliver in a timely manner after membranes rupture
- Excessive or improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Excessive amount of Pitocin given to stimulate labor
- Failure to detect potential problems during pregnancy (e.g. baby too large for mother’s pelvis, gestational diabetes, or maternal hypertension)
If your child has cerebral palsy as a result of a medical error, you are faced with many years of specialized medical care and physical and occupational therapy for your child, and may need special equipment, special education, and many special services to provide for the child’s needs. To make it possible to care for and offer your child the best possible chance at a meaningful life, you will need to be fully compensated for present and future expenses, as well as for your child’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of quality of life. To do this, you will need a medical malpractice attorney with experience in birth injury cases to fight for your child’s future.
The Phoenix, Arizona, birth injury lawyers at Wattel and York have the expertise and experience to pursue a settlement or verdict that will provide for your child’s needs over a lifetime . Call today to schedule an initial consultation. You pay nothing when you hire us and owe nothing unless we win money for your child.