How Common Is It For Cerebral Palsy To Be Caused By A Birth Injury
Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to the developing brain and it’s possible for that brain damage to happen before, during or after birth. About 70 percent of children with cerebral palsy develop the condition while they are still in the womb, but about 20 percent of children develop cerebral palsy because of a birth injury.
Cerebral palsy can result if there is severe oxygen deprivation to the brain or significant trauma to the head during labor and delivery. Birth complications like detachment of the placenta, uterine rupture or problems with the umbilical cord during birth can cut off a baby’s oxygen supply and result in cerebral palsy. If a baby is breech or the doctor is especially forceful in trying to deliver the baby, this could cause some sort of head trauma as well.
According to the , until recently, it was widely believed that lack of oxygen during a difficult delivery was the cause of most cases of cerebral palsy. Studies now show that birth complications contribute to only 510 percent of cases of cerebral palsy. However, with about 23 children in every 1,000 being affected by cerebral palsy, the cases caused by birth injuries are still far too many and completely unnecessary.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
The early signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may be broken down into three categories.
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Abnormal posture
Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to diagnosing this condition. They may notice that their child is not developing as quickly as others in the same age range or that their child appears stiff. Unusual movements or posture may lead a parent to bring up concerns with their childs physician, which can result in a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
There are several early signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy. In babies under six months of age, it is common to notice that a baby with CP is unusually stiff or floppy.
The babys legs may also become stiff when picked up, or their legs may scissor or cross. The head may appear to lag when a parent picks up the child from lying on their back, too.
Once a child is over six months of age, signs and symptoms may include the inability to roll over or bring their hands to their mouth.
A child with cerebral palsy who is more than 10 months old may exhibit lopsided crawling or the inability to stand while using an object for support.
It is important to note that not all developmentally delayed children will have cerebral palsy. Some may have other conditions or just need more time to develop. This is particularly common in children who were born prematurely.
Take Legal Action Against Birth Injuries
If your child suffers from a birth injury stemming from negligence or malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help pay for their treatment costs and other expenses. The health care providers that caused your childs birth injury should be held accountable.
Get a free case review today to learn more about taking legal action and pursuing justice for your childs preventable birth injury.
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What Are Some Signs Of Cerebral Palsy In Children
Cerebral palsy shows differently in each body. It can affect the whole body, just one limb or one side of the body. Its also important to remember that while CP is not a progressive disorder, the symptoms may change over time.
Children with CP may show a developmental delay, coordination and movement, problems with speech and eating. Additionally, children with CP may be prone to seizures.
What To Know About Cerebral Palsy Cases
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain or other abnormal brain development that affects a childs intellectual functioning and/or ability to control body movement. Some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Premature birth
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Lack of blood flow to the brain
- Trauma during delivery
- Infections after birth
- Delaying or failing to perform a C-section
- Missing, ignoring, or misinterpreting warning signs from fetal heart monitors
- Failing to effectively resuscitate a newborn who needs help breathing
- Failing to exercise proper care when using forceps or vacuum extractor equipment
- Failing to diagnose or treat an infection
- Misdiagnosing fetal position in the uterus
The compensation you may be able to recover in a cerebral case will depend on the type of cerebral palsy your child has and the level of your childs disability and impairment in relation to their condition as well as the impact of any commonly related symptoms and conditions:
- Difficulty swallowing, sucking, or eating
- Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
- Difficulty picking up items and holding them
- Limited range of motion
- Neuromuscular issues
Read on for additional information about cerebral palsy cases, and know that you can always contact us at JJS if you have further questions.
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Why You Should Always Consult A Lawyer If Your Child Has Cp
You may be surprised to hear that healthcare providers are not required to report their mistakes to patients. If a medical team responds too slowly to fetal distress or mishandles a breech birth or infections during pregnancy, you wouldnt know unless you investigated it yourself. Because the signs of cerebral palsy wont show for a few months, and because diagnosis can take up to two years or longer, you may never even realize the role your doctor might have played in your childs developmental problems.
If you suspect your child has cerebral palsy, calling a lawyer offers your best chance at getting answers. A birth injury lawyer is well-versed in hospital administration and can cut through bureaucratic red tape in order to find out what happened during your childs delivery.
The Florida birth injury lawyers at Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A have successfully resolved some of the most severe and painful birth injury cases in the nation. Our team works with hospital administration experts, medical experts, and investigators to create a thorough timeline of what happened during your childs birth. Our experience with the American healthcare system gives us insight into how doctors, nurses, and hospital officials behave, allowing us to uncover negligence. Most importantly, our work has provided our clients with the financial resources to get treatment, physical therapy, and long-term care so their child can live as independent a life as possible.
Amount Of Impairments And Disabilities
The more impairments and disabilities a child suffers from, the more likely the prognosis will be poor. Yet, how bad each impairment is also plays a role in the prognosis. For example, a child with severe seizures and acute cognitive impairment may have a more grim prognosis when compared to a child who only has occasional mild seizures and mild cognitive impairment.
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Cerebral Palsy Due To Medical Negligence
Every year, 1-4 out of 1,000 infants born in the United States are diagnosed with cerebral palsy . Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious diagnoses that a child may receive as a result of medical malpractice. Below, our Chicago cerebral palsy lawyers explain its causes, types and symptoms.
Do you believe that your childs cerebral palsy is a result of medical malpractice? Consider speaking to our dedicated birth injury attorneys. We can discuss your childs unique situation, help you to determine your best legal options and be a trusted counselor during this difficult time. Call us at or contact us online.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Birth Injury Lawyer
How Birth Injury Lawyers Help Prove That Cerebral Palsy Was Caused By Medical Negligence
Parents can easily find cerebral palsy cases complicated and overwhelming. Medical providers usually try to show that birth injuries are unavoidable and not their fault, making it difficult to prove their negligence to be responsible for an injury.
For a childs parents to prove medical negligence and secure a verdict or settlement, they will need evidence like medical bills, relevant records, and subject matter experts. Additionally, they will have to conduct thorough investigations to establish the medical care teams action or inaction that caused the childs birth injury and cerebral palsy.
Parents can schedule a free consultation with a cerebral palsy lawyer. After discussing the issues pertaining to the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and any other complications that may have arisen and led to a childs birth injury, the lawyer will carry out several tasks that will help parents prove that negligence led to their childs cerebral palsy.
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Cerebral Palsy Will Impact Your Child’s Development
According to the Centers for Disease Control. cerebral palsy impacts one in every 345 children.
Although cerebral palsy only affects a small part of the general population, the impacts on your child will be considerable. It will affect movement and cause them to miss some developmental milestones. The abnormal development could set them behind and keep them from leading a fully normal life.
Cerebral palsy will remain with your child for the rest of their life. While the symptoms may be manageable, and therapy can help the developing brain, they will still continue to feel the effects permanently.
The Prognosis For Brain Damage
Brain damage during childbirth is most often caused by asphyxiation, and the most common result of this brain damage is cerebral palsy. The prognosis for this and other types of brain damage can vary a lot, depending on individual circumstances.
The most important factor in prognosis is the severity of the damage. For instance, a child deprived of oxygen for several minutes during birth may end up with severe cerebral palsy, while a baby that received mild brain damage may only have mild developmental delays.
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Hemorrhages And Bleeding In The Brain
Brain bleeding and hemorrhages can also contribute to the development of cerebral palsy. This form of bleeding can either happen inside brain tissue or intercranially, and it can be caused by a number of things such as fetal distress, macrosomia, prolonged labor, blood pressure fluctuations, a breech birth, a reduced oxygen supply, and blood disorders that doctors know to look for and identify. Any form of bleeding into the brain will cause cells to malfunction and die within minutes, paving the way for cerebral palsy to develop.
What Is An Intellectual Disability
An intellectual disability is a condition that affects a persons ability to think, speak, and/or care for themselves. A birth injury that affects a childs brain function may lead to an intellectual disability later in life.
According to the CDC, roughly 6.5 million people have an intellectual disability in the United States.
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Can Legal Help Pay For My Childs Cerebral Palsy Care
Children with cerebral palsy typically require additional or supportive care for their condition, including different types of therapy, or equipment. It can be financially overwhelming for caregivers. A birth injury lawsuit can not only obtain justice on behalf of your child, but secure care for the rest of their life so you do not have to worry about their future. If youre concerned that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional made a mistake that led to your childs injury and subsequent disability, the first step in securing justice and care for your child is reaching out to a birth injury attorney.
There is a time limit for when a person can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, and the rules regarding these timelines differ by location or hospital type, and even differ for an adult vs. a child. In New York, the statute of limitations is 10 years.
Talking to an attorney is the best way to determine if and/or when you can seek legal help for your childs injuries. Birth injury cases can take years, and sometimes, its not obvious that a child has suffered a birth injury right away or until they get their cerebral palsy diagnosis. Its important to speak with an attorney as soon as you suspect malpractice.
How To Optimize Your Childs Prognosis
Even though problems related to cerebral palsy create many challenges for children, their families and caregivers, there are several ways to improve your childs prognosis. Keep in mind that not every case of CP is the same. You and your childs healthcare team must tailor a care plan around your childs needs. This requires everyone involved to be aware of the childs physical and cognitive issues. Doctors must provide the necessary treatments and promptly address issues that require attention. Setting goals is also an important factor in the success of your childs comprehensive care plan.
To optimize a prognosis, you and your childs healthcare team should:
- Determine and consistently follow goals to treat your childs physical disability.
- Start physical therapy and other forms of treatment as soon as possible to ensure positive results.
- Be mindful of any complications that may arise. These complications can be life-threatening, but being observant and reporting them to your childs physician can lessen their negative effects.
An effective life care plan for a child with cerebral palsy should include strategies for:
- Improving your childs ability to move
- Instilling a sense of independence for your child as much as possible
- Encouraging self-care
- Encouraging your child to interact with others
- Cultivating and maximize learning skills
- Finding solutions to common health problems
- Learning about pain management and which methods work best for your child
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Featured Verdicts And Settlements
- $33.5 Million for Delayed C-section: A jury awarded this record-breaking verdict after finding that delays in performing an urgently needed cesarean section resulted in a baby developing severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.
- $24.25 Million for Failure to Diagnose: A record-breaking medical malpractice jury verdict, obtained for a child who suffered brain damage and cerebral palsy because her doctors failed to properly diagnose and respond to an airway obstruction.
- $18.1 Million for Mismanaged Labor and Delivery: Verdict obtained on behalf of a child who developed spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy after the mother was taken off of continuous electronic fetal monitoring and placed on intermittent monitoring despite known risk factors.
- $18 Million for Medication Error: A settlement obtained in a case against a pharmacy that negligently dispensed incorrect medication to a pregnant mother, resulting in her child developing a neural tube defect, resulting in paraplegia and other significant injuries.
- $15.1 Million for Mismanaged Delivery: A trial award by a Federal Judge in a Tennessee case against an Army Community Hospital whose improper fetal monitoring during delivery and failure to properly inform the mother of specific risks led to her child suffering a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, resulting in cerebral palsy and lifelong neurological deficits.
Help For Kids With Cerebral Palsy In New York
Cerebral palsy is a motor disorder that impacts coordination, balance, fine motor control, and gross motor control. While cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects people physically, its not unusual for it to be accompanied by cognitive, intellectual, behavioral, or emotional disabilities. This is especially common with people who have CP due to a brain injury caused by medical malpractice around the time of their birth.
Medical errors during pregnancy, labor, and delivery can result in conditions or injuries that lead to disabilities like cerebral palsy. If a complication during birth is mismanaged or not detected, injury can occur. Some of these complications include:
- Water that breaks too early
- Yellow eyes or skin at birth
- Issues with the umbilical cord
- Uterine rupture or placental abruption
- Periventricular leukomalacia, or PVL
- Birth asphyxia
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Birth Injury And Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a condition that is the result of brain damage caused before, during, or after the birthing process. Cerebral palsy caused by birth injury is damage sustained during the birthing process, usually occurring during passing through the birth canal.
Cerebral palsy from birth injury usually occurs during a difficult delivery. A difficult delivery, with the risk of injury to the fetus, may occur if the birth canal is too small or the fetus is too large. This sometimes occurs when the mother has diabetes. Birth injury chances increase if the fetus is in an abnormal position prior to birth. While the rate of cerebral palsy diagnosis due to birth injury is much lower now than in previous decades, it is still a concern.
A cerebral palsy birth injury is caused by the general nature of the birthing process. In most births, the head is the first part to enter the birth canal and experiences much of the pressure during the delivery. Swelling and bruising are usually not serious and resolve within a few days. Cephalohematoma is a bleeding injury in which a soft lump forms over the surface of one of the skull bones but below its thick fibrous covering. A cephalohematoma will not cause cerebral palsy, does not need treatment, and disappears over a few weeks to months.
Common Factors That Affect The Life Expectancy Of A Child With Cerebral Palsy
Factors that impact the life expectancy of a child who has cerebral palsy include:
- Cognitive issues
- Visual disabilities
- Motor issues, both manual and ambulatory
For each category, a medical professional must assess the severity of the injury before they can determine how it will contribute to the overall life expectancy of the child.
In one study of children with cerebral palsy in California, researchers found that a childs ability to feed themselves and use gross motor skills improved their probability of survival over time.
There are other factors that may play a role in determining a childs life expectancy, including:
SeizuresApproximately 42% of children with cerebral palsy have epilepsy, according to a 2010 report from the ADDM CP Network. Cerebral palsy is linked to a higher risk of developing epilepsy, with spastic tetraplegia being the most common form of cerebral palsy linked to seizures.
Its most typical for a child with cerebral palsy to have early-onset seizures within their first year of life, but they can also start later in life. In one study, researchers noted that the majority of children suffered from generalized tonic-clonic seizures rather than other forms. Unfortunately, this also means that many children with CP need long-term anticonvulsant medications.
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