Anticipating the birth of your new baby you probably pictured a future with family dinners, vacations, sports practices, graduations, weddings and other exciting milestones. Parents never expect, nor are they prepared for, the life-changing news that their child has cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a serious and permanent condition that can impair movement, speech and cognitive abilities. It is triggered by brain damage that can occur before, during or after birth. Approximately 10,000 babies are born with this condition each year according to United Cerebral Palsy.
Could this have been preventable?
While cerebral palsy has many potential causes, the tough reality is that this condition may have been preventable. In some cases, the actions of the doctors and nurses who helped you through delivery may have caused the brain trauma. For example, the medical team may have:
- Missed clear warning signs of a birth complication – such as uterine ruptures or umbilical cord issues
- Failed to take adequate precautions or monitor the mother or baby’s vital signs
- Failed to notice that the baby was not receiving adequate blood or oxygen
- Miscommunicated with other medical professionals in the delivery room/failed to alert others of a potential problem
- Misdiagnosed/failed to diagnose a dangerous infection in the mother that could harm the fetus
- Improperly used medical instruments
- Failed to follow standard procedures that could have eliminated infant distress
Diagnosis may not be immediate
Cerebral palsy might not be immediately apparent in a newborn baby. It may take months of careful evaluation before medical professions arrive at an official diagnosis. If you are concerned that your child is affected, take them to the doctor for a thorough medical examination. Many symptoms may signal that they are suffering from cerebral palsy, including:
- Trouble swallowing
- Difficulty controlling muscle movements
- Stiffness in muscles
- Delays in reaching developmental milestones
- Difficulty eating
If you child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it may be difficult to know whether your medical team was responsible. Many factors can cause cerebral palsy, so it would require a thorough investigation of your unique situation before anyone could provide a more definitive answer. If they are responsible, you may be able to secure compensation through a medical malpractice claim. This can offer your family the financial protection you need to properly care for your child’s ongoing medical needs.
If you believe your baby’s injuries were due to medical malpractice, please contact The Fakhouri Firm, LLC at 312-999-9990.