Medical malpractice results when a health care professional breaches a standard of medical care established in a community, and his negligence causes an injury to the patient. During the birthing process a doctor's mistake can have particularly harmful effects on the newborn, one of which is cerebral palsy. The doctor's deviation may give rise to a cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit brought by the infant's family on his behalf. Here are some important things to know:
What are the main causes?
Cerebral palsy is loosely translated as "brain paralysis" and is caused by brain damage. Since the brain controls the movement of the body through the function of the nerves, complications could include difficulty in moving extremities or walking, difficulty holding objects, trouble with speech and severe muscle spasms.
There are infants who are often born with brain damage if their mother abused drugs or alcohol during pregnancy or had a history of mental retardation. Other causes may be pre-mature birth, viral infection or inadequate nutrition. However, medical malpractice cerebral palsy is another reason for the infant to be born with severe brain damage.
How medical malpractice can cause Cerebral Palsy:
The labor and delivery process is a difficult one, and a physician charged with delivering the baby has options available to him, such as fetal heart monitoring, to help observe the fetus and ensure that it's not experiencing distress. Failure to monitor fetus's abnormal heart rate or position can lead to delay in taking preventing measures, such as ordering a timely C-section, possibly leading to cerebral palsy. Failure to administer the right dose of medication to the mother, affecting the oxygen levels of the unborn child, as well as use of excessive force while handling forceps by obstetrician, are two other examples of this malpractice. Statistics show that over 1/5 of these cases is caused by doctor's negligence and since the symptoms do not show up till the child is a toddler, many parents fail to associate their child's delayed development with problems during birth.
How Cerebral Palsy malpractice attorney can help:
The lifetime costs of caring for the child with cerebral palsy are significant, since drugs and continuous treatment are the only means known to provide limited relief. Since many parents do not realize that the child's brain injury may have been caused at birth due to obstetrician's mistake, they fail to file a timely lawsuit against the responsible party and lose the damages the family may be entitled to.
Cerebral palsy malpractice attorney can review the medical and hospital records of the mother and the child, including readings from fetal monitoring strips, and opinion on whether the child's cerebral palsy may have been caused by doctor's mistake during labor and delivery process. They can help the family recover money to afford therapy, treatment and proper medication for the child, as well as other damages.