What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person; people with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need lifelong care, while other people with mild cerebral palsy might only have a slightly awkward gait but need no help at all.
Everyone with cerebral palsy has problems with movement and posture, but many also have other conditions, including:
- Intellectual disabilities
- Vision and hearing problems
- Speech difficulties
- Joint problems
In many cases, cerebral palsy is caused by some sort of injury during pregnancy or the birth process that is the result of medical malpractice.
What Are the Medical Negligence Causes of Cerebral Palsy During Pregnancy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cerebral palsy can arise during pregnancy due to several risk factors, such as:
- Use of fertility treatments
- Infection during pregnancy
- Mothers with thyroid problems, intellectual disabilities, or seizures
Medical professional should consistently conduct tests on the health of both mother and baby during a pregnancy. However, medical professionals sometimes fail to order the appropriate tests or misinterpret test results. Parents may have a medical malpractice claim if their medical professional fail to inform them that their baby may have genetic or congenital defects. Parents may also have a medical malpractice claim for wrongful birth or wrongful life if they would have terminated the pregnancy had they been informed their baby was suffering from a genetic or congenital defect.
In other cases, medical professional may commit negligence when they fail to or inappropriately treat infections or other medical conditions in the mother or baby, such as when they:
- Prescribe medication dangerous for mother or baby
- Fail to recognize prescribed medications’ potentially harmful interactions with other prescribed medications
- Fail to properly monitor anesthesia during surgery
What Are the Medical Negligence Causes of Cerebral Palsy During Birth?
Many used to think that cerebral palsy was primarily caused by a lack of oxygen during birth. However, scientists now think that this process accounts for only a small number of cases of cerebral palsy. Nevertheless, a baby can have its oxygen supply disrupted during birth, leading to cerebral palsy, if medical professionals’ negligence results in:
- Detachment of the placenta
- Rupture of the uterus
- Problems with the umbilical cord, such as premature severing or accidental strangulation of the baby
Medical professional may also commit negligence during the birth process, leading to cerebral palsy, if they fail to conduct an immediate cesarean section upon signs of fetal distress, improperly use forceps, or fail to treat eclampsia or preeclampsia. When medical professionals fail to promptly diagnose and treat emergencies that arise with mother and/or baby during the birth process, the baby may become afflicted with cerebral palsy or with other conditions, such as infections, that later cause cerebral palsy. In those cases, the medical professional may be liable for medical malpractice.
Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Cerebral Palsy Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh cerebral palsy attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Butler, Erie, and New Castle, Call us today at (412) 275-4122 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant St., #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.