Is Cerebral Palsy a Result of Medical Malpractice?

Nothing brings more joy than a newborn baby. Babies enrich families’ lives, and parents hold deep hopes for their children’s futures. Unfortunately, some families are forced to deal with serious health issues in their newborns. 

One of the most devastating is cerebral palsy. It’s a life-impacting condition that may have a variety of causes, including medical malpractice. When this is the case, the law provides victims’ families a path toward significant financial compensation.

Overview of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical term that refers to a group of disorders that affect an individual’s movement, coordination, posture, and muscle tone. Cerebral palsy most often occurs before birth and is caused when the developing brain suffers damage of some sort. 

Medical professionals classify cerebral palsy into two categories: congenital and acquired. Congenital cerebral palsy refers to cases where the damage occurs before birth. Acquired cases are those that occur after a baby is born.

What Are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy? 

Symptoms of cerebral palsy manifest differently from case to case and depend principally on the extent of the damage. One sign that a child may have cerebral palsy is their failure to reach major motor skills milestones. 

Major milestones in the development of a baby’s motor skills include:

  • Rolling over
  • Holding their head up
  • Crawling
  • Standing
  • Walking

Keep in mind that milestone timelines are approximations. Some kids reach them later than others. 

However, after a certain period of time, it may be obvious that there is a problem, especially if the failure to reach a milestone is coupled with one of the following symptoms:

  • Taut muscles and spasticity
  • Involuntary, shaky movements
  • Writhing 
  • Floppy or stiff muscle tone
  • Abnormal gait
  • Problems swallowing or eating in general
  • Drooling
  • Delayed speech development
  • Delayed growth
  • Lopsided crawling

You should alert your doctor if your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, especially if your child has missed key milestones. 

What Are the Causes of Cerebral Palsy?

In many instances, the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy is unknown. Essentially, anything that can damage the brain or cause it to develop abnormally can potentially be a factor, such as genetics, oxygen deprivation, or trauma.

Is Cerebral Palsy a Result of Medical Malpractice?

In some cases, medical professionals themselves may be the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy. They must exercise a high degree of care before, during, and after birth to help ensure a child’s health and future development. Their mistakes can lead to truly unfortunate consequences. 

During this delicate time, medical care personnel are charged with many tasks designed to keep the baby safe while under their care. During the execution of these tasks, errors might occur that can lead to cerebral palsy.

Some of these errors may include:

  • Improperly monitoring the baby’s vitals
  • Failing to order a C-section or perform one properly
  • Errors using forceps 
  • Negligent treatment of maternal conditions
  • Failing to recognize baby-in-distress signals

Each of these errors has the potential to cause brain damage through hypoxia, anoxia, or trauma. If this happens, there may be a case for medical malpractice, and compensation may be available for the victim and their family. 

What is the Impact of Cerebral Palsy?

Again, the extent of the impact of cerebral palsy on a family’s life depends heavily on the severity of the damage to the child’s brain. For some families, cerebral palsy translates to a lifetime of providing essential care for their child. For others, less care is necessary for the child, although their future is still impacted.

When medical malpractice is the cause of cerebral palsy, families have options. Personal injury law gives people access to significant compensation from those responsible for their pain and medical expenses. 

If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, contact an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options. 

Contact Our Medical Practice Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.