Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy Explained
Posted in Medical Malpractice on July 30, 2021
Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that affect a person’s movement, cognitive function, and balance. This condition is caused by damage to the brain and can occur due to a number of factors, including abnormalities during the development process, premature birth, and injuries during the labor and delivery process. If your child develops cerebral palsy due to brain damage he or she suffered at birth, your family may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim—but you will need to prove that the at-fault doctor’s actions caused the condition.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
All medical professionals, including obstetricians, physicians, nurses, and surgeons, must uphold a certain duty of care while treating patients in a formal capacity. Simply put, healthcare providers must administer the same standard of care that a similarly trained and reasonable healthcare professional would provide under the same circumstances.
If a medical professional deviates from the standard of care and causes harm to a patient, he or she commits an act of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can involve many negligent acts or omissions, including misdiagnoses, surgical mistakes, administering the wrong medication, and errors during the labor and delivery process.
Medical Errors That May Cause Cerebral Palsy
Before, during, and after birth, medical professionals owe several duties of care to the unborn child and his or her mother. Obstetricians must monitor a pregnant mother for common prenatal conditions and ensure that the development process is running smoothly. During labor, the delivery room staff have a duty to ensure that the baby and mother are healthy and to respond to hazardous complications in a timely manner.
However, some healthcare providers may fail to uphold their duties of care, causing a baby to be deprived of oxygen and suffer permanent brain damage. In some cases, these professionals may fail to detect maternal infections or complications prior to delivery, putting a child at risk of brain damage and cerebral palsy development.
Common types of medical errors that may lead to cerebral palsy include the following.
- Failure to order a necessary Cesarean section in a timely manner
- Failure to monitor a baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery
- Failure to identify a baby in breech
- Failure to diagnose a maternal infection such as rubella or toxoplasmosis
- Failure to take action during the first signs of fetal or maternal distress
- Allowing a birth to go on for too long, leading to unnecessary oxygen deprivation
- Administering a dangerously high amount of labor-inducing drugs
- Failure to diagnose meningitis or other health conditions related to brain damage
- Failure to detect a high-risk pregnancy while providing prenatal care
What to Do If Your Child Develops Cerebral Palsy
If your child sustains brain damage during labor and later develops cerebral palsy, it is important to seek the help of a Missouri medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. If a medical professional is responsible for the injury, he or she could be held accountable for your child’s financial, physical, and emotional damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney can represent you in your claim and secure the compensation your child deserves.
Seek medical attention for your child’s condition and save all documents related to his or her injuries, the delivery process, and the treatment he or she received. You should also retain all financial documents, journal entries, and other pieces of evidence related to your child’s case. Once you gather this evidence and seek the help your child needs, schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney to discuss your next steps.