Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term referring to a group of disorders that affect a child’s ability to move and maintain posture and balance. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines cerebral palsy as a group of neurological disorders appearing in infancy or early childhood that permanently affect muscular coordination, balance, and body movement. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood.

What to Do If Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with CP

Cerebral palsy is often the result of brain damage. CP is a type of movement disorder. There are several types of CP: spastic CP, athetoid CP, ataxic, CP, and mixed CP.

Often, the motor areas of the brain can be injured during labor, at the time of birth, or shortly after birth. This brain damage is permanent but non-progressive, so the damage to the brain does not worsen over time. However, the clinical expression of the symptoms may change as the child grows and brain matures.

Children with cerebral palsy or CP have motor impairments which can range from mild to very severe. They may also have cognitive (thinking) or intellectual impairments, speech impairments, seizures, and problems with vision and hearing.

There is currently no cure, and children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy will have it all their lives. However, a therapy, rehabilitation, and proper accommodations can help children with CP live their best life possible.

A significant number of children with cerebral palsy suffered a birth injury as a result of complications encountered during labor and delivery. Many of these injuries are preventable.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage or brain injury. Often, brain damage is caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery. Other causes of brain damage include trauma, premature birth, and infection.

Medical staff, including nurses and doctors, are required to carefully monitor the mother and the baby during labor and delivery. If the medical providers don’t pay attention, or don’t act quickly when a problem arises, there are consequences for the baby. Many injuries are preventable with proper care.

Lack of Oxygen

Lack of Oxygen to the brain: Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (or HIE) Explained

Lack of oxygen during labor and delivery is a significant cause of most common types of cerebral palsy. The baby’s developing brain is especially sensitive to injury at this time.

Before birth, the baby’s health depends on the mother. The mother delivers nutrients and oxygen to the baby the blood that flows through the umbilical cord. The placenta regulates the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the mother and the baby, and the exchange of nutrients.

If there isn’t enough oxygen in the bloodstream, that is called “hypoxia.” If there isn’t enough blood flowing to the baby, that is called “ischemia.” When the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen, the baby’s tissues develop what is called “hypoxemia.”

There are several ways that the baby might not get enough oxygen. When an umbilical cord gets kinked or compressed shut, the baby may not get enough blood flow to have enough oxygen. When the uterus ruptures or the placenta tears away from the uterus, that can disrupt the flow of oxygen to the baby. Sometimes, even the contractions of the mother’s uterus can cause the baby not to get enough oxygen.

One way to think about a baby’s oxygen supply is like an air tank for breathing under-water. Like a diver underwater, the baby can use their oxygen reserve to survive for a while without an injury. However, if too much time passes, the oxygen reserve runs low, and a serious birth injury can occur.

If the doctor and the nurses don’t recognize the warning signs of a lack of oxygen and react quickly and decisively, the baby will run out of reserve oxygen. As a result, the baby is asphyxiated.

Asphyxia causes the development of lactic acid in the blood. The build up of lactic acid causes acidosis. Acidosis is dangerous and damages brain cells and tissues.

The medical diagnosis for this condition is called “hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy” or “HIE.” When a baby has HIE, the brain damage is permanent. Permanent brain damage may cause the baby to have seizures, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy.

There are different events or complications which can deprive a baby of adequate oxygen. Here are some of the known complications that can cause injury to a baby’s brain and result in cerebral palsy:

What Are the Early Signs of Cerebral Palsy?

There is no master test to diagnose cerebral palsy. However, getting a CT or an MRI can reveal the brain damage that correlates to people with CP.

Signs of cerebral palsy vary because there are different types of cerebral palsy which range from mild to severe. The doctor should closely monitor the baby if there were problems during delivery or if there were symptoms of brain damage.

Early intervention with appropriate therapies may minimize the impact of injury. Early signs of CP can include:

Excessive lethargy or irritability, poor feeding, poor sleeping, vomiting frequently, poor visual attention or tracking.
Difficulty controlling the arms and legs, not being able to lift the head, or having trouble rolling over, sitting up, or crawling.
Lack of muscle control which affects the baby’s ability to move, poor reflexes, trouble walking, or muscles that are too stiff or too weak.
Seizures, hearing loss, impaired vision, bladder or bowel control problems, abnormal sensations and pain.

How Do I Know If My Child's Cerebral Palsy Was Cased By Medical Malpractice?

Some Birth Injuries that Result in Cerebral Palsy Are Preventable

Cerebral Palsy refers to a handful of different neurological disorders, including:

  • Ataxic cerebral palsy
  • Spastic cerebral palsy
  • Spastic diplegia
  • Spastic quadriplegia
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy
  • Mixed cerebral palsy

All of these forms of cerebral palsy are caused by damage to the brain or part of the brain. This damage often occurs during pregnancy or birth. Cerebral palsy affects motor skills, muscle growth, and a number of other symptoms that are lifelong.

Some cerebral palsy birth injuries may be preventable. A lack of attentiveness during delivery is one of many risk factors. Medical malpractice that results in cerebral palsy can occur during development or delivery.

An administrative error could keep a provider from being aware of a medical condition in the mother or the fetus. Additionally, medical professionals may fail to pick up on distress signals from the fetus during the later months of the pregnancy or during birth. Both situations could result in serious brain damage for the child.

You may have questions about whether your child’s palsy is the result of negligence on the part of the medical professionals. If your child’s brain damage is the result of a medical error or negligence, we may be able to help.

Do you want to know more about what you can do for yourself or your child after a birth injury? Send us a message through our Chat function today to learn more about how Brown Trial Firm can help.

Lawsuits are Expensive. Should I Even Bother Evaluating a Birth Injury Case?

Caring for Your Injured Child and Dealing with the Cost of New Medical Needs Is Taxing. You Might Be Feeling Hopeless When It Comes to Opening a Case.

Cerebral palsy can be an expensive condition to have. Children with secondary disabilities will cost even more. These funds usually cover:

  • Medical care
  • Medical equipment
  • Indirect costs
  • Special education
  • Home modifications

As a result, a parent of a child with cerebral palsy may find it difficult to imagine pursuing legal action. We may be able to help.

Unlike law firms who bill by the hour, we won’t charge you a dime out of pocket. We only get paid if we successfully recover on your case. We’ll take a percentage of what you receive to pay our lawyers. Before that point, you won’t pay for anything out of pocket.

You deserve help for injuries sustained during your child’s birth. If you believe your child’s diagnosis of a lifelong disease or injury is due to medical negligence, contact Brown Trial Firm today.

What Is the Process for a Lawsuit for Cerebral Palsy Injuries?

Once You Have Decided to Take Action, We Will Help Guide You The Entire Way.

Contact Brown Trial Firm today for a free consultation. This is the first step of the process, and it’s completely necessary. An experienced birth injury lawyer will review the facts and help you decide whether or not to go forward with legal action. In such an evaluation, your attorney will look at the details of your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis and decide if you could pursue a case.

In the event your lawyer believes you have a case, it’s time to start the filing process. Your attorney will begin by drafting and filing a petition. This is the legal instrument that starts your lawsuit.

Next, both parties will exchange information about the case known as the discovery process. Discovery is used to see what information both sides possess.

Your lawyer may then wish to take depositions. A deposition is a sworn testimony that helps in discovering information a witness has that could be relevant to the birth injury case. For brain damage cases, the focus will be on what all involved parties know about the events that happened before, after, and during the birth.

Your lawyer will also consult with medical experts to evaluate the facts of your case. Medical experts are usually well qualified nurses and doctors who have subject matter expertise related to birth injury. These experts assist your lawyer in analyzing the facts about your case.

As the case comes to a conclusion, many cases go to mediation. Mediation is an opportunity for both parties to meet in person outside of court to reach an agreement. In some cases, the case will settle out of court in mediation.

If the case doesn’t settle in mediation, the next option is to go to trial. A birth injury lawyer will present your case to a judge or a jury, call medical experts and witnesses to testify, and put the case in the hands of the jury.

It all starts with your free consultation. To find out whether you have a case, contact the Brown Trial Firm today and learn about your options.

Brown Trial Firm offers free, no-obligation consultations. We’ll look at your unique case and see what we can do to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you after a birth injury.


Contact a Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Attorney

Getting help for young children with CP can make a huge difference. As parents, we know you always want what’s best for your child. We can help you come up with a plan that fits your child’s needs. Having a plan will help you have peace of mind that you’ve done the best you can for your child’s future.

People with cerebral palsy may have suffered birth injuries resulting from negligent medical care. If you aren’t sure whether your baby’s CP was caused by negligence, it’s important to act quickly. A birth injury attorney or cerebral palsy lawyer can help you find answers. The attorney will help you investigate the medical care, and will evaluate whether you have a claim.

Case Review at No Cost or Obligation

If you would like help investigating your child’s cerebral palsy, please contact us. Our birth injury attorneys will be happy to give you a free case evaluation. We can also point you to great non-legal resources that can help you figure out your next steps.

Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Don’t wait, get help today. Call +1 (844) 232-9228 or email us a [email protected].