The brain is arguably the most important organ in a person’s body because it controls bodily functions as well as cognitive processing. The brain, as with all organs, needs oxygen to thrive. When a baby’s brain is denied adequate levels of oxygen, the baby suffers brain damage. That brain damage can result in cerebral palsy, which impedes a person’s ability to perform cognitively, control bodily functions, control voluntary movements, maintain balance, and to move. The nomenclature derives from cerebral (having to do with the brain) and palsy (weakness or problems with muscles).   

Could cerebral palsy be caused by medical malpractice?

Yes, cerebral palsy can be caused by medical malpractice. In fact, there are various different forms of

medical malpractice that can lead to cerebral palsy.

Failure to detect dangerous hypoxia before, during, or after the birth. As mentioned

above, a baby’s brain needs oxygen to thrive. “Hypoxia” is when the brain does not receive adequate levels of oxygen. If a doctor fails to realize that the baby is experiencing hypoxia – or, if the doctor does realize it and fails to do anything to prevent the hypoxia through urgent delivery and/or other

resuscitative measures – that doctor has likely committed medical malpractice.

  Failure to detect (and timely treat) infections. Infections can range from mild to severe, but in

all cases of a baby suffering an infection, the doctor must detect it early in order to be able to properly administer antibiotics or other therapeutic medicine. If the doctor fails to timely diagnose and treat an infection, the baby could suffer brain damage and cerebral palsy and/or other brain injuries.

 Failure to perform timely Caesarean section where indicated. Sometimes a vaginal birth is not possible or safe and the baby is better off being delivered by Caesarean section (or c-section). A c-section is where the doctor strategically cuts the mother’s abdomen and uterus so as to remove the baby from the uterus. A c-section may be indicated where the mother has a medical condition that prevents her from safely delivering her baby vaginally. A c-section may also be indicated when the traditional labor methods aren’t working – the labor isn’t progressing fast enough, the baby is too large to leave the mother’s body vaginally, the umbilical cord is pinched, the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, the baby is in distress, etc. Medical malpractice can occur when c-section is indicated to keep the mother and baby healthy and safe, and the doctor fails to perform the c-section in a timely manner, or at all. 

 Negligently performing the delivery. There are many ways a doctor can commit medical malpractice during the childbirth process. They could use excessive force in extracting the baby from the uterus or from the vaginal canal, they could twist the baby’s body in a way that causes injury, they could misuse the various delivery tools (forceps, vacuum extractor, scissors, clamps, specula, etc.),

they could fail to properly monitor the baby’s heartbeat, etc. These are all examples of negligent delivery.

Whatever actions or inactions led to your baby’s cerebral palsy or brain injury, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP Law to discuss whether you have a valid claim for medical malpractice.

Advocates and supporters of those with cerebral palsy celebrate Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month in March.

By wearing green bracelets, shirts, necklaces, and sometimes even face paint, people living with cerebral palsy and their allies educate the public about this motor disorder. In doing so, they strive to improve the healthcare system and job market for those with cerebral palsy.

In honor of this important global event, read on to learn seven fascinating facts about cerebral palsy.

1. Cerebral Palsy Is A Physical Disability Caused By Early Brain Injury

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage.
The word cerebral relates to the brain, and palsy is defined as a weakness or difficulty using muscles. Thus, someone with cerebral palsy may have trouble with movement, coordination, muscle tone and control, reflexes, posture, and balance.

2. Cerebral Palsy Is Generally Considered A Birth Injury

The abnormal brain development or damage that leads to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy typically occurs:

3. Cerebral Palsy Is The Most Common Lifelong Physical Disability

One in 345 babies is diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the U.S. It is not only the most common physical disability in childhood, but it’s also the most common lifelong physical disability in the world. In fact, in the U.S. alone, around 1 million people have cerebral palsy.

4. Cerebral Palsy Is Manageable

A variety of medical and therapeutic remedies can help you manage your child’s cerebral palsy. Certain medications may help relax your child’s muscles and/or reduce any related drooling.

Therapy will also be helpful to your child’s care. Physical therapy improves muscle control and strength, occupational therapy helps them gain independence in daily routines, and speech therapy helps them communicate clearly.

5. Early Detection Is Key

Learning the common early detection signs of cerebral palsy can significantly increase your child’s standard of living. Parents should be on the lookout for early signs of cerebral palsy, such as:

6. There Is No Known Cure For Cerebral Palsy

While there are abundant treatments, there is no known cure for cerebral palsy.

Despite being currently incurable, it is important to begin a treatment program as early as possible to improve your child’s comfort, mobility, and independence. A team of health professionals can work with your family to develop a plan that will help your child reach their full potential.

7. You May Be Able to Collect Compensation for Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy

If you suspect your child’s cerebral palsy was the direct result of a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, you may be able to sue for compensation. Payment from a settlement or verdict will help you afford the various treatments that can significantly improve your child’s quality of life.

If your child has been recently diagnosed with CP, Talk to the lawyers at VSCP to determine if you could seek medical compensation.

A cerebral palsy diagnosis completely changes a family forever.  However, it may be possible for a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) to lead a happy, well-adjusted life with extra care, supportive therapies and close attention to managing its symptoms.

That doesn’t make the initial diagnosis any easier. But with the right resources, tools, and information, adjusting to life with a child with CP is possible. 

Cerebral Palsy Overview

Cerebral palsy is a motor condition in which the body’s muscles cannot function in the same way as a non-disabled person. Cerebral palsy itself is a highly nuanced condition. It can present itself in many different ways, from minor coordination issues to severe movement and oral functioning limitations.

While there is no cure for CP, seeking treatment for this condition early on can lead to easier management and a better quality of life for your child.

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common motor disabilities in the world.   Unfortunately, the cause of cerebral palsy may often be linked to medical malpractice or medical negligence at birth. 

Quick Statistics

Cerebral Palsy: Early Warning Signs

Learning about the early warning signs of cerebral palsy is essential. 

The sooner you understand your child’s diagnosis and symptoms, the better support you can provide and obtain for your child. Additionally, it is vital to ensure that your child’s CP was not the cause of medical malpractice. If a doctor or medical staff causes your child’s CP diagnosis, you should seek compensation to ensure you can get help with the tremendous costs associated with managing your child’s CP symptoms.

Early warning signs may look like one or a combination of the following signs:

How To Support My Child Living With CP

Having a child with CP is difficult on many fronts for a family, including financially and emotionally.  While getting support for your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis might seem like an overwhelming task, there are medical, legal, and community organizations exist to make your child’s life — and yours — a little easier. 

Here are some things that many parents of children with cerebral palsy should consider.

Philadelphia & National Cerebral Palsy Organizations

Legal Help for Families and Children with Cerebral Palsy

We look to doctors and hospitals for care and proper treatment. We trust them with our lives and our children’s well-being. The overwhelming majority of doctors handle our medical cases with composure and professionalism. 

However, when a medical case is mishandled, the consequences can be disastrous, especially if it involves babies and young children.

If you suspect your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, please reach out to VSCP LAW today to have your child’s case evaluated.   We will work closely with our team of medical experts to determine whether negligence occurred and if you are entitled to financial compensation for your child. A winning case won’t change a cerebral palsy diagnosis, but it could fundamentally improve your child’s quality of life and help change the medical industry to ensure that other children are not the victims of malpractice.

Cerebral Palsy Is A Common Childhood Motor Disability

Posture Cues

Muscle Tone

Fine Motor Skills

Speaking & Eating

Childhood Milestones

What To Do If I Notice Early Symptoms Of CP?

Hope After A CP Diagnosis