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Cerebral Palsy – Was It Caused by Doctor Negligence?

April 11, 2017

When complications arise during the birth of a baby, the result can be heartbreaking injuries to the infant or the mother.  Birth injuries are some of the most devastating personally and financially and are often complicated to prove.  These injuries can be extensive -- impairment of motor function, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.

Cerebral palsy is actually caused by brain damage, such as a brain injury or by the abnormal development of the brain, and it can be caused by medical negligence at or around the time of birth.

Cases of cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence can occur when the physician fails to follow the proper procedures as defined by the mandated medical standard of care, which cause the baby to suffer from lack of oxygen, bleeding, head trauma or other injuries.  The most common reasons include:

  • Delay in delivering the infant, causing oxygen deprivation
  • Failure to appropriately monitor fetal heart rate before and during labor and birth
  • Failure to identify umbilical cord problems, such as a prolapsed cord
  • Failure to correctly use forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery
  • Failure to plan and schedule a cesarean section when a baby is too large to safely pass through the birth canal
  • Delay in performing (or failing to perform) a medically necessary cesarean section
  • Failure to detect and/or properly treat infections in the mother during pregnancy

In order for parents to consider filing a lawsuit in these cases, there must be proof that the doctor acted in a negligent manner and that this negligence caused the baby to develop cerebral palsy.

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