Becoming a parent is simultaneously a joyful and terrifying process. When a baby is born, parents are prepared to face colic and sleepless nights. They're ready to deal with baby proofing and ear infections. They are not ready to hear that their baby has a lifelong disability that was caused by a medical error.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term used to encompass a wide array of disorders that impair a person's motor control. CP is caused by either abnormal brain development, typically in utero, or by damage to a young developing brain. In the United States alone, almost 10,000 infants and 1,500 preschoolers are diagnosed with CP every year.
In many situations, the cause of Cerebral Palsy is unknown. However, it is commonly believed that if a baby's brain is deprived of oxygen either before birth or during the birthing process, the resulting brain injury can lead to the development of CP.
Before birth, a baby's brain can be damaged because the mother had an infection that was not diagnosed or properly treated. A doctor may fail to properly monitor a child during the birthing process and not realize that the baby was showing signs of oxygen deprivation and distress. When signs of distress are evident, a doctor may delay performing a cesarean that may have prevented brain damage.
If you have been told that your child has cerebral palsy, it is normal and understandable to want answers. Understanding how your child developed the condition may not only help give you peace of mind that you did nothing to cause the problem but may also help doctors determine the best course of treatment for your child.
You will also be facing challenges that other families will not, and may wish to seek compensation for those challenges. An attorney can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice case and help you understand and protect your rights.