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May 31, 2022

Can Medical Mistakes Cause Cerebral Palsy?

The mistakes of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can result in cerebral palsy. 

Doctors have a duty to deliver babies safely. They are expected to know how to diagnose and address health issues that can cause a range of birth injuries, including cerebral palsy. When medical professionals are negligent in performing their duties and that negligence results in cerebral palsy, they can–and should–be held accountable. 

The cerebral palsy attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. have seen how medical mistakes can lead to cerebral palsy. We know the heartache and hardships that families face when their children are born with brain injury. We have helped families in Providence and throughout Rhode Island seek the justice and compensation they deserve in these difficult situations.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is generally the result of asphyxia-related injury to the developing brain before, during, or shortly after childbirth. When a developing baby or newborn child receives an inadequate supply of oxygen and blood to the brain, serious and permanent brain damage can occur. In some cases, this situation can lead to cerebral palsy.

There are a variety of causes of cerebral palsy, which can include :

  • lack of oxygen during labor and delivery
  • medical errors and/or misdiagnosis of pregnancy complications during pregnancy
  • errors during delivery, including but not limited to delayed delivery or lack of a timely response by medical staff in light of fetal distress

Damage to different areas of the brain can cause different types of cerebral palsy, including:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy: This describes the condition when a child’s movements are stiff due to increased muscle tone. 
  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy: This type of cerebral palsy affects a child’s ability to move. The child may move abruptly and have difficulty controlling his or her muscles.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy: This is when children have problems with coordination and balance.
  • Mixed cerebral palsy: This term describes a condition in which a child has two or more of the types of cerebral palsy listed above.

Cerebral Palsy Caused By Medical Negligence

Unfortunately, many cases of cerebral palsy result from medical mistakes. Examples of medical errors that can lead to cerebral palsy include:

  • Failing to respond to signs of fetal distress
  • Failing to provide appropriate interventions during labor and delivery
  • Failing to perform a cesarean section or prompt vaginal delivery for a baby in distress
  • Misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery
  • Failing to respond to bleeding appropriately
  • Failing to treat maternal elevated blood pressure (preeclampsia)
  • Failing to provide appropriate prenatal care
  • Failing to manage prolonged or post-term pregnancy properly
  • Failing to resuscitate a newborn properly

Proving that medical malpractice caused a birth injury demands specific knowledge, experience, and understanding of birth injuries and their consequences.

How Can Doctors Prevent Cerebral Palsy? 

Quality medical care is the best way to prevent cerebral palsy. 

There are several steps that doctors can take to prevent cerebral palsy and medical malpractice. Doctors can significantly reduce the risk of a child being born with cerebral palsy. 

After a birth injury, an experienced cerebral palsy attorney can help you determine which legal path is best for your family. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit not only helps the babies and families affected by medical negligence through financial settlements or verdicts, but they also serve to hold negligent healthcare providers and hospitals accountable. This can encourage institutions to develop and implement better safety procedures and ultimately help more families avoid these devastating experiences in the future.

Call a Providence Cerebral Palsy Attorney for Free

Cerebral palsy is a serious one. Those affected live with it for the rest of their lives. That is why it is so important for doctors to identify risks, prevent problems, and avoid inflicting injuries on the babies they deliver. 

If a medical professional’s negligence caused your baby to suffer a birth injury, the cerebral palsy attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. may be able to help. We are committed to helping babies and their families move forward after a serious injury.

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Contact us today online or at (401) 273-8330 to speak with a CP lawyer for free. We proudly serve clients across Rhode Island, including Providence and other areas.