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Most expecting parents have one hope: that their child will be healthy. Which is why when a child is born with an injury, disease, or another condition that impacts their health, the news may be shocking and devastating. For parents whose children have suffered harm that may have been preventable but for a medical error, the birth injury is even more tragic. Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that medical professionals do not fully understand; however, it is possible that a lack of oxygen during the birth process–a preventable medical error in many cases–is to blame. If your child has developed cerebral palsy, you may have a claim. Our Syracuse birth injury/cerebral palsy lawyer can help. Call us today to learn more about your options and how we can assist you.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy does not refer to one specific disorder, but rather “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.” The disease can be broken down by its two terms: cerebral means having to do with the brain, whereas palsy refers to weakness of and problems with the muscles.
No two cases of cerebral palsy are exactly alike, and symptoms and effects of the disease vary from person to person. For example, someone who has a mild case of the disease may be able to walk independently without any special medical equipment, whereas a person with a severe form of the disease may need a walker or a wheelchair. Similarly, in addition to movement and posture issues, the majority of people who have cerebral palsy also have related conditions, including seizure disorders, intellectual disabilities, vision and hearing problems, speech disorders, joint problems, and more.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Scientists are not exactly certain what causes cerebral palsy, although scientists do agree that the condition is a result of abnormal development of the brain or damage to the brain in a developing fetus or in the very early years of a child’s life; the disease can develop within the first year of a child’s life in some cases. There used to be strong agreement amongst those in the scientific community that cerebral palsy was mostly caused as a result of a lack of oxygen during the birth process. Today, while this is still a possibility and is something to be aware of, scientists think that a lack of oxygen during birth only causes cerebral palsy in a small number of cases.
Cerebral Palsy & Birth Injuries
There are a number of birth and pregnancy factors that increase the first of congenital cerebral palsy, which is cerebral palsy that happens before or during birth (the vast majority of cases). These include:
- Low birthweight
- Premature birth
- Multiple births (i.e. twins)
- Infertility treatments
- Infection during pregnancy
- Kernicterus and jaundice
- Mother’s medical condition, such as a seizure disorder
- Complications during birth, including uterine rupture, detachment of the placenta, umbilical cord problems,
While some of the above risk factors may be unpreventable and cannot be mitigated by medical professionals, others are preventable and might only occur because of medical malpractice. For example, a doctor may fail to respond, or fail to respond properly to, an umbilical cord issue or the detachment of the placenta. In either case, immediate response is necessary, and in some cases, an emergency cesarean section may be required. A doctor’s failure to monitor mother and baby or respond appropriately when a problem is detected may put the child at an increased risk of birth injury, including the development of cerebral palsy.
If you believe that your doctor was to blame for your child’s harm and cerebral palsy, our lawyers can help you by investigating your case, talking to other experts, and providing the elements of a medical malpractice claim.
Call Our Birth Injury Lawyers at the Law Office of Powers & Santola, LLP Today
At the law office of Powers & Santola, LLP, our birth injury and cerebral palsy lawyers know how devastating it is for parents to learn that their child has suffered an injury or disease that could have been prevented but for a doctor’s mistake. If such is the case in your situation, our lawyers will advocate for you in holding the responsible doctor liable for your child’s harm. Our birth injury attorneys have years of experience and a track record of success. For the help you need when your child has suffered a serious and avoidable birth injury such as cerebral palsy, call our lawyers directly for a free consultation. We are here to help you.
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