Delivery Complications and Birth Traumas Can Cause Lifelong Injuries: Cerebral Palsy
The Centers For Disease Control estimates that an average of 1 in 323 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy – a condition defined as “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and keep their balance and posture as a result of an injury to parts of the brain, or as a result of a problem with development.” Additionally, nearly 30 percent of cerebral palsy cases occur due to delivery complications or post birth trauma as result of a medical professional’s negligence or mishandling of a newborn. Cerebral palsy is one of the most disastrous among the different types of birth injuries. Problems related to blood supply to the brain before birth, unknown infections, bleeding in the brain, lack of oxygen, severe or untreated jaundice, and head injury can all be related to medical negligence and causes of cerebral palsy. When these complications or traumas happen it is important to hold the support and medical team accountable as each of these people is playing a key role in the safe and healthy delivery of a baby. When clinicians make a mistake, these incidences are called birth injuries rather than a birth defect.
Understanding Birth Injuries and Birth Defects
A birth defect is a problem that occurs in a approximately 1 out of every 33 babies in the United States and begin developing when a baby is growing in utero, typically within the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming. Birth defects can be harmless or some severe. Most birth defects that are common include heart defects, cleft palates, spina bifida, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and other genetically related health problems. The exact causes of certain birth defects are often unknown although some defects can develop because of:
- family genetics
- exposure to medications or chemicals during pregnancy
- lifestyle choices and behaviors
Understanding the difference between a birth defect and birth injury is equally important in a case of diagnosing cerebral palsy. With cerebral palsy birth trauma cases, a significant injury to the infant was sustained during the birthing process likely do to one or more of these factors caused by someone else’s medical negligence.
- Adverse effects from drugs or surgery
- Failing to detect infections during pregnancy
- Failing to detect issues with the umbilical cord
- Failing to treat severe jaundice in the newborn
- Gross mismanagement of normal delivery procedure
- Improper use of delivery instruments, such as forceps
- Neglecting proper heart rate monitoring during delivery
- Not performing a medically advisable cesarean section
How To Recognize The Signs of Cerebral Palsy
The main sign that a child might have cerebral palsy is a delay reaching the motor or movement milestones. The signs of cerebral palsy can also differ greatly because of the various types and stages of the disability. If parents or caregivers see any of these signs as outlined by the CDC, an appointment should be made with a doctor and not delayed.
A child over 2 months with cerebral palsy might:
- have difficulty controlling head when picked up
- have stiff legs that cross or “scissor” when picked up
A child over 6 months with cerebral palsy might:
- continue to have a hard time controlling head when picked up
- reach with only one hand while keeping the other in a fist
A child over 10 months with cerebral palsy might:
- crawl by pushing off with one hand and leg while dragging the opposite hand and leg
- not sit by himself or herself
A child over 12 months with cerebral palsy might:
- not know how or want to crawl
- not be able to stand with support
A child over 24 months with cerebral palsy might:
- not be able to walk
- not be able to push a toy with wheels
Michigan Birth Injury Cases
Treating a child with cerebral palsy can carry a hefty burden for parents or caregivers. Cerebral palsy birth injuries will affect children for the rest of their lives, causing severe emotional, medical and financial hardships for their families involved as well. In no way do the birth injury lawyers at Lee Steinberg believe financial support will work to undo the harm, but we do know it can provide a child victim and their family members with the best chances to enjoy life afterwards.
Cerebral palsy cases, when at trial, can last several months or years before being resolved, agreed upon, or settled but most birth injury cases will settle before a trial ever happens. An experienced Michigan attorney will work alongside families to obtain the highest amount of money to be fairly compensated for a child’s suffering. A number of damages may be recovered if the birth injury claim is successfully resolved. Compensation may include past and future damages for medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and more.
If your child was born with injuries, or there was a birth-related injury to the mother during delivery, the birth processes should be closely examined to determine whether the injury was a result of medical negligence. Contact the skilled an experienced Michigan birth injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg to discuss your legal options.
Find Support For Your Child’s Injury
If you suspect your child developed cerebral palsy or other birth injuries such as Erb’s Palsy, shoulder dystocia, birth hypoxia and brain damage, failure to perform a timely C-section or hydrocephalus at the hands of a doctor or another health care professional, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the damages suffered.
Lee Free and his Michigan birth injury lawyers can help you. Just make a simple phone call to 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733), or go ahead and fill out the Free Case Evaluation form so we can answer any questions you have about Michigan medical malpractice law. We are the Michigan birth injury experts. You pay nothing until we win your case. Let us help you and your child today.