How do I know if a medical mistake caused my child’s cerebral palsy?
Any number of negligent actions could have ultimately resulted in your child’s cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, with these delicate cases, hospitals and doctors can hide important details that point to a negligent act. An experienced birth injury attorney will work closely with independent medical experts who can look at the details of your case objectively to recognize evidence of malpractice. If you suspect negligence, the first step is to contact an experienced birth injury attorney for a free case evaluation.
What constitutes medical negligence during delivery?
If a doctor makes a decision during labor and delivery that is inconsistent with the medical industry’s accepted standards of care, and a child or mother is harmed as a result, medical negligence has occurred. Any of the following examples could be considered negligence if they result in injury.
- Excessive force used during vacuum extraction of forceps use
- Failure to order a C-section when complications make vaginal birth risky
- Failure to properly respond to umbilical cord distress
- Failure to treat high blood pressure, infection, or diabetes in the mother
- Misreading of tests performed on mother or baby
- Medication errors that compromise baby’s breathing or brain function
- Failure to respond to baby’s breathing or heartbeat irregularities
What are some signs that negligence may have occurred?
It is usually the parents who first notice signs that something is wrong with their child. Often it is a combination of physical signs mixed with unusual delivery events that prompt parents to seek out a birth injury lawyer . Unusual events might include:
- Any complications during delivery
- Prolonged delivery
- Seizures after delivery
- Excessive stay in the NICU
- Oxygen supplementation at birth
- Special testing such as an MRI or X-rays
- Consultation with a specialist during delivery
- Breathing problems or stopped breathing
How do I know if my child has cerebral palsy?
There are three categories of CP: ataxic, which affects balance and depth perception, spastic, which is characterized by muscle spasms, and athetoid, which typically involves involuntary movements. Cerebral palsy is often apparent during the very first month after birth. If your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms of cerebral palsy , see a new doctor right away and call an experienced birth injury attorney. You can find links to more information about the three types of cerebral palsy, treatments, and causes on our cerebral palsy resources page.