Cerebral palsy (CP), usually caused by damage to the brain before or at birth, is a condition that affects muscle coordination and speech. The effects of this condition are permanent and cannot be cured. In some cases, cerebral palsy can be caused by the negligence of an obstetrician.
As a knowledgeable birth injury lawyer, Thomas D. Bumgardner has guided several families on whether or not they should pursue legal action for their child’s condition. If you don’t know what to look for, it can be difficult to tell if your child’s CP was caused by medical malpractice. We have dedicated this week’s blog to outlining how medical malpractice can lead to CP.
Early Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Signs of CP usually appear before the age of three. Symptoms may change over time, but the condition can not worsen. Cerebral palsy is often detected by observing a combination of the following things:
- Inability to learn how to crawl or walk.
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Unusual speech
- Muscle spasms
- Awkward walking
Common Causes of CP During Delivery
Several procedures performed during the delivery of a newborn can potentially lead to brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy. If these procedures aren’t performed correctly or in a timely manner, irreversible damage can be done to the child. These mistakes include:
- Failure to perform a c-section in a timely fashion
- Failure to control the pace of labor and delivery (allowing the baby to remain in the birth canal for too long)
- Improper use of forceps
- Excessive use of vacuum extraction
- Failure to properly monitor the baby’s heart rate through a fetal heart rate monitor
- Failure to identify and prevent meconium aspiration
- Failure to react appropriately when signs of fetal distress first appear
- Failure to identify and correct umbilical cord complications
- Failure to identify and treat medical conditions in the mother during prenatal care, which lead to a high risk of birth complications
There is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in the state of North Carolina. It is imperative to obtain up-to-date medical records for your child and seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Trust A Knowledgeable Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation for a lifetime of medical costs and pain and suffering.
Winning the compensation your family deserves requires the skill of an expert birth injury lawyer. Get in contact with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner to see if you have a case. Schedule a free consultation with us at (704) 870-4779.