A cerebral palsy diagnosis can be devastating for your family, not the least because in many cases it is entirely avoidable. Negligent practices by the medical professionals delivering your child can lead to lifelong damage to them. Knowing what medical mistakes can cause cerebral palsy can make it easier to determine the cause of your child’s condition. Find out what some of these common medical mistakes are so you can better deal with the fallout.
Causing a Birth Injury
One of the most common causes of cerebral palsy is a birth injury due to medical neglect. This can often occur during births that involve complications, usually due to a baby’s fetal positioning being different from the norm. Types of fetal positioning that may place an infant at higher risk of birth injury include the following:
- Occiput/cephalic posterior position
- Transverse lie
- Frank Breech
- Footling breech
- Complete Breech
A baby with a usual fetal position may require additional tools to deliver, such as a vacuum extractor or several different types of forceps. Head injuries are common in these types of deliveries, which can lead to lasting damage, including cerebral palsy. Speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer if your child developed cerebral palsy after birth like this is vital to obtaining the compensation your family will need to handle their condition.
Letting an Infection Run Its Course
Fetuses are highly sensitive to any changes in their mother’s body, especially infections. During an infection, the mother’s immune system can overwhelm the developing fetuses, leading to lasting damage, especially to their developing brain. With proper treatment, this damage can be averted. However, a negligent medical professional could fail to deliver a mother the treatment she needs to avoid this outcome.
Failure to Treat Jaundice
A baby’s blood cells are necessary to deliver oxygen to their brain. However, jaundice occurs when these begin to break down and build up as bile pigments that circulate through the bloodstream. A child suffering from jaundice could in turn develop cerebral palsy, making it vital for doctors to identify and treat the condition early.
Not Prescribing Medication to Prevent Rh Incompatibility
Rh incompatibility occurs when the mother’s body begins to attack the newborn because her blood is Rh-negative while the child’s blood is Rh-positive. It produces white blood cells that target the child’s red blood cells, depriving them of oxygen and causing them to develop high levels of bilirubin, which leads to jaundice. However, this condition can be detected early by medical professionals and the mothers given RhoGAM, a special type of immunoglobulin that can prevent the condition.
Neglect Leading to Birth Asphyxiation
A birth asphyxiation can occur if a child is deprived of oxygen during the birthing process, leading to lasting damage to their brain. This often occurs in the case of breech births, of which there are three types:
- Frank breech
- Footling breech
- Complete breech
A child who suffers from birth asphyxiation may come out not breathing, breathing lightly, or discolored, with a purple face. They will require immediate medical attention to help recover and should be monitored for any lasting damage.
Causing a Stroke
Cerebral palsy is often associated with brain damage, and a stroke is one of the most traumatic brain injuries a person can endure. During a stroke, there will be bleeding in the brain. If this bleeding impacts the parts of a child’s brain that are responsible for motor control, they could suffer from cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a debilitating, lifelong condition that brings enormous medical expenses to those children who suffer from it. This makes it vital for your medical provider to take every step necessary to protect your child from it – and for you to obtain compensation should your child be born with it.