How Malpractice Causes Cerebral Palsy

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( — March 22, 2022) — Malpractice commonly results in errors that cause cerebral palsy, and parents can sue the negligent people who make these mistakes. That’s important because the treatment of cerebral palsy is incredibly expensive. According to the information posted by the Cerebral Palsy organization, the average lifetime cost of treatment is $1,014,000.

Cerebral palsy, often abbreviated as CP, is a brain injury in the area that controls posture, movement, and motor skills. Victims demonstrate abnormal muscle tone, spastic hemiplegia, diplegia, and quadriplegia. Medical experts agree that cerebral palsy is quite rare, with only two or three cases per 1,000 births. However, these cases can create havoc in any family if we consider the expenses they have to face and the long-time care they have to provide to their children. 

Ways Malpractice Results in Cerebral Palsy

Some of the things that can cause cerebral palsy and abnormal brain development include:

  • Maternal infections
  • Gene mutations
  • Traumatic head injuries to an unborn infant
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Fetal stroke
  • Infant infections that target areas of the brain
  • Birth-related asphyxia

Unfortunately, many cases of cerebral palsy could be prevented with better care. Some examples of medical malpractice cases that might cause cerebral palsy include:

  • Failure to Diagnose Health Issues: Pregnant women suffer from various illnesses, infections, and conditions such as high or low blood pressure conditions. Failure to diagnose these health issues could cause the unborn child to develop CP. The same holds for the infant’s health. Therefore, doctors must carefully monitor an infant’s health to detect any condition that might contribute to CP.
  • Failure to Take Proper Care of the Mother: Pregnant women need to watch their weight while ensuring a proper level of activity based on their age and health. Proper nutrition is essential. Failing to instruct mothers-to-be on proper prenatal care is an example of medical malpractice.
  • Failures During the Birth Process: Doctors can inadvertently cut off oxygen supply during birth by mishandling a breech birth or failing to detect the need for a caesarian. Doctors can mishandle the unborn infant with forceps or fail to treat an umbilical cord problem. In addition, many doctors fail to treat a birth canal delay.
  • Lack of Treatment: Many babies are born with a condition that causes the buildup of bilirubin in the blood. If not treated, the condition causes jaundice, which can eventually cause brain damage resulting in CP. Other untreated conditions include meningitis, which also leads to CP.
  • Failure to Treat Fetal Stroke: Fetal strokes can certainly cause cerebral palsy, and a stroke might be undetected during troublesome labor. Bleeding in the brain can be caused by abnormal blood cells or clogged blood vessels. In addition, strokes during childbirth or shortly afterward damage the brain’s tissues leading to CP.
  • Rh Incompatibility: Rh incompatibility can result in the infant developing CP. This condition results when the mother’s blood produces immune cells that attack the infant’s blood. This often causes jaundice mentioned above. Doctors should discuss Rh with pregnant women to take the proper measures to avoid any pregnancy complications. 
  • Any Severe Oxygen Shortage: An oxygen shortage can result in CP for even a brief period. These shortages could be caused by forceps manipulation, rough handling of the fetus, infant health issues, or maternal health problems. These issues are caused by direct mistakes or negligence.

The medical mistakes that result in CP are generally not malicious or intentional, but the result is the same as if they were. For example, neglecting to monitor the health of both the fetus and mother could suddenly turn into a critical mistake.

Hiring a Qualified Attorney

It’s important to discuss with a professional cerebral palsy attorney your decision to file a malpractice lawsuit with a professional cerebral palsy attorney. An experienced attorney better understands how expensive treatment can be, and the legal team has the skills to investigate a complicated case.

For instance, a visible medical error occurring on the birthing bed is easier to prove with medical records, witness testimonies, even video footage (as many couples record the birth of their children). However, misdiagnosis or the failure to ask important questions from a pregnant woman can be harder to prove in terms of liability and shared responsibility nine months later.

For all these reasons, getting expert legal advice for your birth injury case will ensure you and your child find justice and proper compensation for all your future medical expenses and lifecare plans. 


About the author:

As a journalist, Leland Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. His greatest satisfaction is to convey legal matters to the public in a language that they can understand. He is active on various platforms and media outlets, writing about common legal issues that people confront every day. While medical malpractice is his strong suit, Leland covers plenty of other topics, including personal injury cases, family law, and other civil and even criminal legal matters.