Cerebral Palsy (CP) is classified as a neurological condition, generally caused by an injury to the brain or deformity that occurs during the period in which the child’s brain is developing. This period is loosely sometime prior to birth, during birth, and shortly after birth. CP affects bodily motion, muscular coordination, balance, and motor skills. The majority of those with CP have had the condition since birth, and an estimated 10% of individuals develop the condition as a result of complications associated with birth.
Potential Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Approximately two individuals out of every 1,000 are stricken with CP. There is no single cause that has been determined; however, research indicates that 75% result from prenatal occurrences, up to 8% result from birth asphyxia, and about 10% from postnatal causes. One study showed a trend that 20 out of 31 children with CP have some type of coagulation irregularity. Many believe that mothers with coagulation problems could pass it along to a fetus. Some studies indicate a link with factor V Leiden carried by fetuses. Eight children who carried the factor V Leiden mutation who developed CP also had a mix of problems that included intrauterine growth restrictions, breathing problems, seizures, low birth weight, and fetal distress.
Potential Signs Exhibited
- Limited body movement and lack of muscular coordination
- Slow development in being able to suck, roll over, or keep head supported
- Poor control over body movement and rigidity in arms & legs
- Difficulty with cognition, sight, vision, speaking, and swallowing
CP generally does not lead to death, except in children with rare cases of extreme severity. The damage to the brain is permanent in nature and has no cure. The condition tends to remain over the course of time with minimal progression or worsening, although some associated problems have the possibility of improving.
Medical Mistakes Which Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy
- Oxygen deprivation, caused by a delay in delivery
- Failure to identify or properly treat a severe infection
- Failure to monitor the fetal heart rate
- Failing to identify that the umbilical cord has entered the birth canal before any part of the baby’s body has
- A failure to perform a Cesarean section in a timely manner
- Accidents when using tool such as forceps or vacuums
The majority of malpractice cases involving errors that could have caused CP rely heavily on expert medical witnesses. These witnesses may be physicians who specialize in the practice of OB/GYN or hematology. Those defending the claims may order that the mother and baby submit to tests for detecting existing coagulation irregularities and potentially create other theories of causation.
Kansas City Lawyers for Medical Negligence
Complex cases of medical malpractice, such as those associated with birth injuries, require legal representation that has documented experience, resources, and a history of success. The law firm of Norton & Spencer, P.C. was established in 1952, and over the years we have secured some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the state. For a complimentary case evaluation, call the office at 816-454-5800 today.