There are several neurological disorders under the term cerebral palsy. All of them are caused by damage to the brain and can affect muscle coordination, a person’s posture and the way they move. These brain issues mostly occur around birth. They can happen, before, during or shortly after a child is born. Cerebral palsy can also be the result of a traumatic injury experienced by a very young child. Symptoms of cerebral palsy can accompany a brain injury as well.
The Preventable Brain Injury
The statistics on cerebral palsy are sobering. More than 10,000 children have affected with CP annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control, many of these cerebral palsy cases could have been avoided. Medical malpractice is a cause in several thousands of these cases each year.
The circumstances leading to a child developing cerebral palsy can occur during development of the fetus or during the birth process. It could also happen shortly after birth. In each instance, a step in the medical process may have been missed, overlooked or ignored.
The Importance of Prenatal Information
Pregnant women receive or should receive a series of prenatal tests. These tests reveal the health of the unborn child. They can determine if a child has any genetic or congenital defects. Blood tests, ultrasound, and amniocentesis can inform the doctor of any abnormalities the baby may have. Parents need to know this information so they can plan accordingly. If they do not receive this information in a timely manner from the medical practitioner, medical malpractice may be involved.
Cerebral Palsy and Maternal Infections
There are certain infections mothers can contract which may affect the health of the unborn child. These infections require immediate attention. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial in these instances. The infection can attack the baby’s brain tissue and other organs if not treated swiftly. Infections affecting unborn children can be bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic.
When a mother has any symptoms of infection like fever during the pregnancy she needs to be examined right away. Failure to test for common illnesses is an issue. Medical personnel need to adequately test for problems and treat them. Induction of labor may be required to prevent the baby from being affected. If a child is born and not tested and/or treated when an infection was suspected, this is evidence of negligence of the medical personnel.
Additional Medical Causes Leading to Cerebral Palsy
Other malpractice scenarios and cerebral palsy include errors in medication. This could be an improper dose, a medication that is deemed dangerous to mother or child or interaction with other medications taken by the mother. If the mother undergoes surgery and anesthesia is used, she and her unborn child need to be properly monitored, otherwise, the baby could incur brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy has a tremendous effect on the entire family. In the cases where it could have been prevented, financial compensation should be pursued for the benefit of the child and family because their lives will be greatly altered. The law firm of Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., has attorneys who specialize in personal injury law. Contact us for your complimentary initial consultation. We proudly serve the southwest Florida communities through our offices located in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood.