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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that often occur where a child does not receive adequate oxygen during birth, or there has been physical trauma to the brain. Birth trauma, hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), premature delivery, or a central nervous system infection is often to blame. There are approximately 8,000 children diagnosed with this disorder annually. This injury is one of the most serious birth injuries that can occur, and is considered incurable. The disorder can manifest many different symptoms, some of which are readily apparent upon the child’s birth.

These initial symptoms can include:

  • Infant does not breathe immediately after birth
  • The child has a floppy appearance, due to lack of muscle tone
  • Child may have seizure shortly after birth
  • Infant has poor color
  • Child has problems with feeding

Ongoing symptoms can also arise over a period of months or even years. In a majority of cases however, these symptoms arise within the first several months after birth.

Long term symptoms include:

  • Difficulty with speech
  • Impaired motor skills (walking, moving arms and legs)
  • Mental retardation
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Failure to reach developmental milestones

The prognosis for a child with cerebral palsy will depend on the severity of the brain damage. Some children may require little to no assistance, while others may require special education and medical services for the rest of their lives. This often puts extreme financial stress on families.

Cerebral Palsy Causes:

Physicians are trained to monitor the wellbeing of the child during delivery, and address any unexpected complications that arise. If for instance the child is not progressing normally in labor, the doctor should take immediate preventative measures to relieve the stress on both the mother and the child.

Improperly monitoring a fetus during delivery, failure to perform a timely C-section, or substandard medical treatment of an infant are often causes of this injury. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by the misuse of various medications. These medications when administered incorrectly can affect the blood oxygen levels of the child, which can result in the fetus not receiving adequate oxygen. If it can be shown that the medical staff did not act appropriately when a potential problem was present, or it can be shown that they did not act in a manner that is consistent with established medical practices, they made be held responsible for medical malpractice.

If you believe that your child has contracted cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, it is important that you contact our office promptly. The experienced lawyers at the Potts Law Firm can advise your of your rights, and determine if you have the appropriate legal grounds to pursue an action. If you child has suffered a birth injury from medical malpractice, your family deserves to be compensated for your child’s injuries.

Why You Should Not Delay in Consulting an Attorney 

Many birth injuries are preventable and are caused by doctor malpractice. Indiana law imposes strict deadlines (also called “statutes of limitations”) in medical malpractice cases that will forever bar the claim if its not filed in a timely manner. The law relating to the deadline can be exceedingly complex; therefore, one should not delay in consulting a qualified medical malpractice attorney to determine the applicable statute of limitations and review the cases. 

Legal Help for Birth-Related Medical Malpractice

If it can be shown that the medical staff did not act appropriately when a potential problem was present, or it can be shown that they did not act in a manner that is consistent with established medical practices, they may be held responsible for medical malpractice.

If you believe that your child has a birth-related illness due to medical malpractice, contact us to have an experienced lawyer review your case. Your family deserves to be compensated for your child’s injuries. 

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