An injury at birth to an infant’s brain can cause cerebral palsy, a type of movement disorder. Many cases of cerebral palsy are caused by preventable medical errors. This is the most common type of serious birth injury. According to some estimates, at least two babies in 1,000 births are now being born with cerebral palsy—about 10,000 annually. A 2002 study found one in every 278 eight-year-old children disabled by the disorder.
Clues that cerebral palsy was caused by medical error
When the pregnancy was normal, healthy, and uneventful and if there was no reason to suspect a genetic disorder and one or more of these abnormal conditions were true of your baby, a medical error may have occurred that could cause cerebral palsy. If the baby
- was not breathing at birth
- had tarry staining from meconium, or fecal matter
- was blue
- did not suck efficiently
- was born more than 24 hours after the placental membranes ruptured
- had seizures
- was born with poor muscle tone
- spent time in Intensive Care
- was given an MRI
- was kept in the hospital longer than the mother
. . . then brain damage might have occurred at birth caused by medical error.
Specific medical errors that sometimes cause cerebral palsy
These are some possible medical errors that might cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy:
- Waiting too long to perform a C-section when monitoring showed signs of fetal distress, or not doing one at all
- Not monitoring the baby consistently throughout the labor
- Not delivering the baby within 24 hours after placental membranes ruptured
- Unnecessary or incorrect use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Giving excessive amount of drugs to induce or stimulate labor
- Ignoring or failing to detect problems during pregnancy ; for example the baby’s head being too large for the mother’s pelvis, high blood pressure in the mother, or gestational diabetes
If your child has cerebral palsy and you think one of the errors listed here may have been the cause, you need legal assistance to go after a financial recovery on your child’s behalf.
Your child who suffers from cerebral palsy will need medical care, therapy, and a variety of special services for many years to come. These come at a high price. To be able to give your child the best chance at a normal, productive, and useful life, you will need to seek a recovery against the doctor, hospital, or other health care professional whose error caused the condition, because you will need to have the financial resources to provide your child with years of the best available care and educational assistance. Because the outcome is so important to your child’s well being, you will need an experienced medical malpractice attorney who knows how to handle birth injury cases to represent you in the fight for your child’s future.
In Seattle, Washington, the birth injury lawyers at Wattel and York understand what is at stake and will commit their substantial legal knowledge, skill, experience, and dedication to justice for your child, and will actively and aggressively pursue the recovery you need to provide your little one’s needs for a lifetime. Call today to arrange a time to come in and speak with us. You pay nothing up front and will owe nothing unless we win a monetary recovery for your child.