A Closer Look at Cerebral Palsy and Delivery Room Negligence

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a type of neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation. It typically occurs while a child’s brain is developing. The area of the brain related to movement becomes dormant or paralyzed. The disorder affects mainly the body’s movement and muscle coordination. However, the location, number of limbs affected, and extent of impairment varies from one person to another. It is an incurable condition, but many people are treated with therapy.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Science has found that individuals with the disorder were most likely born with the condition, though birthing complications account for an estimated 10% of cerebral palsy cases. Doctors and scientists believe medical malpractice is connected to cases such as these as brain injuries occur during and just after birth. The condition can also occur if the infant has been deprived of oxygen for too long, dropped, had an instrument-related injury, or was pulled out forcefully. Additionally, labor that lasts longer than 18 hours can also lead to significant damage.

Can Cerebral Palsy be Prevented?

Some birth injuries that result in cerebral palsy can be prevented. When cases develop that could have been easily avoided with better care, this could be considered medical negligence. Preventable incidences include failing to detect infections during the pregnancy, adverse effects from drugs or surgery, neglecting proper heart rate monitoring during delivery, not performing a cesarean section when it’s medically advisable, improper use of delivery instruments, failing to treat severe jaundice in the newborn, serious mismanagement of standard delivery procedure, and failing to detect issues with the umbilical cord.

Most Common Types of Cerebral Palsy

  • Spastic cerebral palsy accounts for about 80% of all cases and is characterized by stiffness and difficulty moving.

  • Athetoid cerebral palsy accounts for about 10% of all cases and includes involuntary movement, slurred speech, trouble swallowing, low muscle tone, and inability to maintain posture.

  • Ataxic cerebral palsy, accounting for about 10% of all cases, includes depth perception issues, distorted balance, tremors, and difficulty coordinating muscle movements.

Not all cases of cerebral palsy indicate medical malpractice has been committed. However, if you can prove your doctor failed to give the same standard of care any other doctor would in his or her situation, you might have a good personal injury case against them. Our team at the Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. has the resources to investigate the circumstances that led to your child’s injury. We are known for our meticulous case preparation and aggressive advocacy. Trust us with your case. Contact us at (954) 467-8800 or fill out our online form to learn more about your legal options from our experienced Fort Lauderdale birth injury attorneys.


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