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Cerebral palsy and medical malpractice

Cerebral palsy is a brain condition that impacts a person's ability to use their muscles, as well as their posture and balance. Cerebral palsy is present at birth or in early infancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 323 children have cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy can have drastically different outlooks. Some children with cerebral palsy can walk with or without assistance, while other children will not be able to walk or move freely. In some cases, cerebral palsy is accompanied by other developmental delays.

According to the CDC, between 80 and 90 percent of cerebral palsy cases are congenital, meaning that the condition was present at birth. In the remaining cases, cerebral palsy was acquired. Common causes of acquired cerebral palsy are infections and injuries to the brain. Some of these acquired cases of cerebral palsy could have been prevented, had medical professionals done their jobs properly.

How can acts of medical negligence cause cerebral palsy?

Obstetricians have a duty of care to every patient they serve. As part of this duty, they must properly monitor the baby and mother throughout labor and delivery. When obstetricians fail to monitor the baby's heart rate or how much oxygen the baby is getting, it could lead to profound neurological damage, including cerebral palsy. Other failures can include:

  • Failing to conduct a cesarean section in a timely fashion
  • Failing to treat a prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Failing to properly use forceps a vacuum extractor during labor
  • Failing to properly treat an infection, meningitis or jaundice

Any one of these failures can lead to cerebral palsy and forever alter the course of a child's life. If your child has cerebral palsy and you believe it was caused by a doctor's negligence, you should discuss your situation with an attorney.

The lawyers of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, work with families across Delaware who have been harmed by acts of medical negligence. Our skill and experience have been key in helping families recover the financial compensation they need to move forward with their lives on the best possible terms. Call 888-395-7576 to set up a free initial consultation.

Source: Causes and Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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