Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, speech or cognition. The condition may be caused when there is damage to a developing brain. In some cases, newborns develop cerebral palsy after a birth injury. Medical mistakes that may cause cerebral palsy include:
- Failing to treat jaundice: Many newborns develop jaundice, a condition that causes a high level of bilirubin in the bloodstream. With severe cases of jaundice, excessive bilirubin levels can cause brain damage and cerebral palsy.
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor: A doctor may use forceps or a vacuum extractor to remove a newborn from the womb during a complicated delivery. However, newborns can suffer brain damage and cerebral palsy when these tools are not used correctly.
- Failing to treat an infection: Expectant mothers can develop infections that may spread to the womb. If a maternal infection is not treated, then it could cause the fetus to suffer a brain injury.
- Failing to perform a timely C-section: Newborns experiencing fetal distress may need to be quickly extracted from the womb. Failure to perform a Caesarean section (C-section) can lead to oxygen deprivation or other complications that cause brain damage.
Do I Have a Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Case?
Some children with cerebral palsy will require specialized care and resources for the rest of their lives. The level of care needed depends on the type of cerebral palsy and the severity of the damage. Children with severe cases of cerebral palsy may be unable to move or speak. Others may have a severe intellectual disability.
It is important to determine whether your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a preventable medical mistake. If medical negligence is the cause, then it may be possible to hold the hospital accountable for damages. This could help you and your child access resources that are needed to limit the effects of this disabling condition.
The New Jersey birth injury lawyers at Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. have decades of experience helping families harmed by medical malpractice. If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, then our attorneys can discuss your situation at no cost.