Cerebral palsy is a disorder commonly identified in childhood that causes abnormalities in muscle tone, movement, and motor skills. There is no cure for CP and the only treatments are medical interventions such as physical therapy or speech therapy. If your child is living with cerebral palsy, it may be because of an error that was made during the course of your prenatal treatment, learn how your doctor may have been able to prevent your child’s CP.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
According to the Mayo Clinic website, CP happens as a result of an abnormality in the brain development of fetuses, but in rare cases can happen after a child is born.
Cerebral Palsy is often caused as a result of one of the following factors:
Infection in a pregnant mother or fetus that causes fetal brain swelling
Brain injuries sustained to the baby in the womb or right after child birth
Lack of oxygen during childbirth
How Doctors Can Help Prevent CP
Doctors can play a vital role in preventing cerebral palsy. The first line of defense the doctor can offer the expecting mother is education about the necessary steps to take for the healthiest pregnancy possible. Physicians should advise pregnant patients to take extra precautions to prevent accidents, falls, and crashes as these can cause brain damage to the unborn child. Doctors should also monitor the mother-to-be very closely for signs of illnesses and infections which may pose a risk to the fetus. Expectant moms should also be made aware of the increased risk of complications when they contract an illness which may lead to brain inflammation in the unborn child. Many doctors take precautions to minimize birthing risks which may cause CP such as scheduling C-sections for multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) and limiting the time the mother is in labor before an emergency C-section is ordered to prevent oxygen deprivation to the baby while in the birth canal. If your child was born with CP and your doctor didn’t follow these guidelines, they may be liable.
The first thing you can do is to contact a medical malpractice attorney if you feel that the healthcare professional may be responsible or at least partially responsible for the CP. A good lawyer will take you through all the steps of a potential lawsuit and will detail what needs to be done at every stage of the process.