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Can medical negligence cause cerebral palsy?

Having a baby should be a happy day for parents. After months of anticipation, there should be nothing but joy for the little one's arrival.

For some parents though, this happy day can quickly be overshadowed when something goes wrong. Either the baby does not get enough oxygen during delivery, or forceps or a vacuum extractor are improperly used. In other cases, it may be that the doctor or delivery staff failed to properly react to fetal distress, or the mother was not given the proper care during her pregnancy. When any one of these situations happens, this can mean not only complications for the baby, but also complications for the mom. 

One of the more commonly known birth injuries stemming from medical negligence is cerebral palsy. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects posture and movement. There are varying degrees of severity with this disorder. Some people need lifelong, around-the-clock care, while others with mild cerebral palsy are able to maintain a pretty average lifestyle, with just a strange walk. Related conditions may include, among other issues, problems with vision, hearing and speech, intellectual disabilities, seizures and problems with the joints. 

Regardless of the severity and related conditions though, everyone with cerebral palsy will have issues related to movement and posture. 

It is important to remember that while medical malpractice can lead to cerebral palsy, not all cases of the disorder are caused by medical negligence. However, given the medical needs that are often associated with cerebral palsy, it is important for parents to reach out to an attorney if there is any reason to believe negligence did play a role. Whether that negligence was during pregnancy, during the delivery, or right after the delivery, an attorney will be able to properly evaluate the case and provide any insights into what next steps should be taken. 

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