Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
April 25, 2014

Medical Malpractice Is a Leading Cause of Cerebral Palsy

Perhaps one of the most devastating of all birth injuries is cerebral palsy, because there is no known cure. Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy will exhibit a variety of symptoms of varying degrees of severity. While some children with mild cerebral palsy may be able to live a fairly normal life, children with severe cerebral palsy may require special care, therapy, and rehabilitation throughout their lives.

Cerebral palsy is considered the most common motor disability in childhood and more than 764,000 children and adults are living with cerebral palsy in the United States alone. This year, another 10,000 babies will be born and develop cerebral palsy in infancy and childhood.

Cerebral palsy is usually caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, which in turn causes varying degrees of permanent brain damage. While cerebral palsy can be caused by genetic factors and varying prenatal conditions, a large portion is the result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence.

Financial Impact of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that begins to show signs in early infancy and childhood. Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking, talking, and eating. They may struggle with learning disabilities or intellectual disabilities throughout their lives or they may have uncontrollable seizures. As such, these children require an enormous amount of medical care, medications, and physical and cognitive therapy.

It is estimated that over the course of a lifetime, a child with cerebral palsy will incur nearly $1 million in medical expenses and rehabilitation. This does not include indirect costs associated with parent’s lost wages, decreased future earning potential for the child, or modifying homes to accommodate disability equipment.

Due to the severity of this birth injury, it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately if you suspect that your child has suffered from a physician’s negligence. Your attorney will need to review all aspects of your child’s birth, as well as your entire prenatal history to determine if a doctor or health care professional’s negligence was the cause of your child’s injury.

Common causes of hypoxic episodes, which lead to cerebral palsy, include:

  • Failure to diagnose dangerous prenatal condition
  • Inadequate monitoring of mother and fetus during delivery
  • Inattention by nursing staff or physician
  • Failure to perform emergency C-section
  • Improperly administered medication or anesthesia
  • NICU nurse failure to monitor oxygen levels on baby properly

Was Your Child Injured at Birth? We Can Help.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe a birth injury was to blame, it is important to seek legal help immediately.

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