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How Healthcare Professionals can Cause Cerebral Palsy

November 04, 2020

By Van Der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin

The time of birth should be a very exciting time for parents but sometimes, a child is born with a disability that clouds the experience. One of the disabilities that is very common is cerebral palsy, the most common motor disability in children. Learning that a child was born with cerebral palsy is extremely stressful, but finding out the disorder was due to medical malpractice is even more difficult. If your child was born with cerebral palsy, read on to learn if a healthcare professional caused your child’s disorder, and what to do about it if you suspect they did.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

The term ‘cerebral palsy’ is given to a number of disorders that affect mobility and interfere with a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include developmental delays, cognitive deficits, seizures, joint issues, difficulty swallowing accompanied with excessive drooling, and problems with speech, hearing, and vision.

Cerebral palsy has four main types, with the most common being spastic cerebral palsy. No matter the type of the disorder a child suffers from, they will have mobility issues that range from awkward movements to involuntarily and uncontrolled movements.

How Negligence Causes Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not always caused by negligence on the part of healthcare providers, but sometimes it is. Any time an infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen during the birthing process, such as when they get caught in the birth canal, it places the child at risk for developing cerebral palsy. As such, the doctors and nurses in the delivery room are responsible for reacting to the situation and mitigating the chance of complications associated with the birth.

Certain maternal medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes that causes macrosomia, or an excessively large baby, must be properly treated during the course of pregnancy and birth. Doctors must identify these problems and treat them appropriately, to prevent the child from being impacted by the many negative effects a failure to treat may cause.

Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Once a person develops cerebral palsy, the disorder typically remains with them for the rest of their life. Different treatments such as physical therapy, speech and language therapy, medication, and even sometimes surgery is required to treat the disorder.

All of the treatments used in cerebral palsy cases are very costly, and families should not have to pay for them on their own when another person’s carelessness caused the disorder. Families can file a lawsuit against the negligent party that can help them with the expenses related to treatment.

Our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers can Help with Your Case

Births should always be a joyful time and parents should not have that taken away from them due to someone else’s carelessness. If you believe your child developed cerebral palsy due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, call our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim. We know how to hold medical professionals accountable, and we will work hard to help you secure the compensation you need. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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