How Does Medical Malpractice Cause a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury

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Affecting about 764,000 people, cerebral palsy presents one of the most common health disorders in the US. Approximately 20% of injuries causing this condition occur at birth in a delivery room. Who is responsible for this and how to cope with it?

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

It is known that cerebral palsy (CP) develops because of a brain injury or malformation during, before, or shortly after birth. But it’s still a big mystery how exactly it develops in infants.

Some scientists and doctors believe that a baby acquires CP just before the delivery from a maternal infection. Others believe that cerebral palsy happens due to the brain injuries caused by medical malpractice just after or during birth. That usually happens when an infant has been pulled out forcefully, dropped, left without oxygen for too long, or injured by an instrument (such as a vacuum extraction injury or a forceps injury). It can also occur if a childbirth has lasted more than 18 hours for some reason.

It is also known that some babies are at a higher risk of getting this disorder. Babies with a low birth rate or premature babies are more likely to develop cerebral palsy. Besides, studies have shown that mothers under age 20 and over age 40 have greater odds of delivering a child with cerebral palsy.

Types of CP Birth Injuries

Birth injuries that trigger cerebral palsy come in a variety of forms. Also, there is a broad range of risk factors which increase the chance of developing cerebral palsy, including:

  • Improper medical care
  • Infections
  • Blood clotting
  • Loss of blood flow or oxygen to the baby’s brain
  • Maternal high blood pressure
  • Placental abnormalities

According to the cause, we can differentiate the following types of cerebral palsy injuries:

  • Spastic CP: It occurs in about 70% of children suffering from cerebral palsy. In those children, the limbs are not fully developed and have accented contractures. There are a few varieties, such as hemiplegia, paraplegia, diplegia, and quadriplegia.
  • Athetoid CP: It occurs in about 20% of children suffering from cerebral palsy. This type of cerebral palsy is characterized by involuntary and slow motions of the extremities.
  • Ataxic CP: It occurs in around 10% of children suffering from cerebral palsy. This type is characterized by difficulty with coordination, weakness, and lack of fine motor skills.

Available Treatments

As you may already know, there is currently no medicine for cerebral palsy. However, there are several treatments and procedures that can alleviate this condition and make it more comfortable.

Occupational therapy can make your child easier perform day-to-day living activities like putting clothes on, drinking, and eating. But it can also help with social interaction and independence as time goes on.

Orthopaedic surgery is capable of diminishing spastic movements, whereas physical therapy helps children with cerebral palsy better control motor skills.

Getting legal compensation

If your child has acquired cerebral palsy at birth, you’ll face a number of medical expenses, including medications, therapy, wheelchair, in-home nurse care, and so on. These expenses may cost a fortune, so the financial award from birth injury lawsuit is sometimes the only way to provide a proper healthcare to a child with a severe birth injury.

That’s why you should connect with experienced birth injury lawyers and seek legal compensation through a lawsuit.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.