What caused my child’s cerebral palsy? When you learn of your child’s diagnosis, this is likely your first question. If there were no complications during labor and delivery, a cerebral palsy diagnosis is even more confusing. You want to understand why this happened to your child, and you need to know whether it was caused by someone’s mistake.
Cerebral palsy is a term used to refer to a group of disorders that impact movement, muscle tone, or posture. Different forms of cerebral palsy affect individuals differently. However, all forms of cerebral palsy are caused by brain damage that occurs before or after birth.
Different Types of Brain Damage Cause Cerebral Palsy
Brain development begins during pregnancy and continues after a child is born. If one of the following problems interferes with proper brain development before birth, cerebral palsy can occur:
- Genetic mutations
- A mother’s infection
- Stroke that occurs in the womb
Sometimes, however, there is no genetic problem or unavoidable medical condition, and cerebral palsy still occurs. In these cases, cerebral palsy is often caused by a lack of oxygen during gestation or birth. A baby can experience a lack of oxygen if one of the following occurs:
- Placental detachment. Placental detachment, also known as placental abruption, is a medical emergency. If your baby is showing signs of distress, an early delivery may be necessary to prevent cerebral palsy and other birth injuries.
- Umbilical cord complications. Umbilical cord complications may be suspected because of your baby’s heart rate and confirmed through ultrasounds. Some of these problems develop during labor and require an emergency delivery to protect the baby from oxygen deprivation and birth injuries such as cerebral palsy.
- Uterine rupture. A uterine rupture is a medical emergency. If your doctor failed to diagnose and treat a uterine rupture, your baby could suffer significant birth injuries, including cerebral palsy.
- Delay in delivery. If your baby’s heart rate slows during labor, a quick delivery may be necessary to prevent cerebral palsy and other birth injuries.
- Breech delivery. Babies can be deprived of oxygen during breech deliveries. An ultrasound can confirm the baby’s position before birth. A C-Section is often recommended to prevent birth injuries, including cerebral palsy.
After birth, a traumatic event such as a fall or car wreck, or a medical problem such as an infection, can interfere with an infant’s brain development and cause cerebral palsy.
Do You Have a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
A cerebral palsy lawsuit can serve two essential functions. First, your child may need expensive care for the rest of his life. A lawsuit can help you afford things such as:
- Medical costs including, but not limited to, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and assistive devices
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Lost income
- Out-of-pocket costs
Second, you can hold the doctor or hospital responsible for the harm they caused your child. To justify a lawsuit, you will have to prove that someone else’s negligent actions must have caused your child’s cerebral palsy. A full investigation needs to be done to determine the cause and to evaluate whether your child has a legal case worth pursuing. You may have a cerebral palsy case if:
- The doctor or hospital owed your child a duty of care
- The doctor or hospital failed to act reasonably during your labor or delivery
- The doctor’s or hospital’s failure to act reasonably caused your child’s cerebral palsy
- You have the legal right to pursue damages on behalf of your child
Call our experienced Kentucky cerebral palsy law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation about protecting your legal rights. Our attorneys and staff nurse will be happy to evaluate your child’s case and help you make the right legal decisions on behalf of your child.