Did a Birth Injury Cause Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
A birth injury is an injury or death that results from trauma to the baby or mother either during the pregnancy or during the delivery of a child. These cases occur when medical mistakes, negligence, and malpractice by a healthcare professional take place, and can often be prevented under certain circumstances. If a nurse, physician, or other skilled professional failed to use the reasonable medical skill as any other professional would in the same situation, malpractice might have occurred and you may have a case against a liable party.
Cerebral Palsy: A Common Birth Injury
According to United Cerebral Palsy in the U.S., about 764,000 children are living with some form of cerebral palsy, many of which stemmed from birth injuries. In fact, about 8,000 newborns and infants are diagnosed with this condition each year. Children who struggle with the effects of cerebral palsy experience symptoms like trouble swallowing, speech impediments, abnormal sensations, seizures, difficulty with bladder control, breathing problems, learning disabilities, and more.
Most commonly, cerebral palsy occurs in children during the delivery process when there is a lack of oxygen delivered to the baby. In about 20% of cases, this is how the condition occurs. Head trauma to the baby can take place in a variety of ways, such as when the baby is too large or in the improper position in the womb before delivery. It can also occur when a doctor does not do a C-section in time and misses the chance, or when they have to use excessive pressure to deliver the baby. The umbilical cord wrapping around the baby’s neck can also lead to cerebral palsy or suffocation.
When cerebral palsy is suspected in a child, a doctor will usually order tests from the get-go to find the cause of the disorder. Some of the tests that a child will endure include a CT scan, MRI test, and an ultrasonography. These tests will help determine whether or not the lack of oxygen to the baby was the actual cause of cerebral palsy, or if it occurred some other time during the pregnancy.
When the Standard of Care is Not Met
Those in healthcare professions are required to provide a standard duty of care to patients. When this standard is not met, a healthcare professional could be held liable for injuries. Some of the ways that doctors fall below the duty of care are the following:
- Failure to provide treatment in a timely manner to the patient
- Lack of assistance to a mother when labor is prolonged or challenging
- Not assessing a variety of conditions in an unborn child
If your infant was injured due to the negligence of a healthcare professional and sustained cerebral palsy or other birth-related injuries, you may have a claim for damages. The parent can bring a claim on behalf of an infant in these cases to compensate for the cost of suffering to the child, loss of enjoyment of life, medical bills, and more. When a doctor or other treating professional has used carelessness with the birth of your baby and you want to find out more about how you can move forward with a claim, turn to Edelstein Martin & Nelson for help. We have experience with these cases and can help you every step of the way, so call us today at (302) 295-5050.