Could Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Have Been Caused by Medical Malpractice?

While children may sustain cerebral palsy (CP) birth injuries due to unpreventable occurrences, CP may also be caused by medical malpractice during a woman’s pregnancy or the birth of her child. Medical malpractice can lead to a child’s CP in a number of ways, some of which are discussed below.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you have reason to suspect that the CP was caused by medical negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages suffered by your child as a result. Birth injury attorney Jeff Killino is widely known for his expertise with birth injury cases and his dedication to holding all those responsible for children’s cerebral palsy and other birth injuries accountable through legal action. Contact attorney Killino and his respected team of birth injury lawyers and paralegals for more information about your legal rights and options.

Legal Liability for CP Caused by Medical Negligence

A newborn’s cerebral palsy birth injury may be caused by the negligence of an obstetrician or other physician in detecting and managing conditions or complications that may lead to a baby’s CP. When this occurs, the physician as well as anyone who employs him or her may be found liable in a medical malpractice action for the damages suffered by a child as a result of the child’s CP birth injury. A few of the many circumstances that may lead to such liability are discussed below.

CP Caused by Intra-ventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)

Cerebral Palsy Medical MalpracticeOne example of a child’s cerebral palsy birth injury that can result from medical negligence is CP caused by intra-ventricular hemorrhage, or IVH. IVH is hemorrhaging (bleeding) inside the brain, which can damage or kill areas of the brain that are crucial to a child’s development and motor function. IVH, which is a significant risk factor for CP, can be arterial or venous and is divided into four grades (I and II, which involve relatively little bleeding and less impairment, and III and IV, which involve more excessive bleeding and resulting brain swelling or obstruction).

Thus, any risk factors for IVH that are not timely recognized, monitored, and/or handled by an obstetrician may result in a baby’s CP birth injury and the obstetrician’s liability, in a medical malpractice action, for the baby’s resulting damages. Such risk factors include, among other things, high maternal blood pressure, placental blood clots, maternal infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and blood clotting abnormalities.

CP Caused by Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, can also cause a child’s cerebral palsy birth injury. HIE is asphyxia, or the deprivation of oxygen, to a fetus’s brain that may also occur due to medical negligence during a mother’s pregnancy or child’s delivery and lead to an obstetrician’s liability for a baby’s resulting CP injury. Risk factors that may lead to HIE if not timely recognized, monitored, and managed by an obstetrician include very low maternal blood pressure, umbilical cord prolapse or nuchal cord, placental abruption, cardiac conditions or complications, and injury caused when a fetus is too large to safely pass through the mother’s birth canal. Thus, an obstetrician’s negligent failure to look for and recognize these and other risk factors for HIE in order to prevent or reduce the resultant occurrence of a CP birth injury may result in the obstetrician’s liability for a baby’s CP birth injury damages.

CP Caused by Peri-ventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)

Peri-ventricular leukomalacia, or PVL, may also lead to a baby’s cerebral palsy birth injury and result from the negligence of an obstetrician in recognizing, monitoring, and treating conditions or complications that are risks for PVL. Statistics reveal that approximately 60 to 100% of infants with PVL may be diagnosed with CP. According to some experts, intrauterine infections are the underlying factor for PVL, as the release of toxins into amniotic fluid can injure areas of a fetus’s developing brain. Thus, an obstetrician’s failure to recognize, monitor, and handle risk factors for PVL, such as intrauterine infection, may be found to have been a cause of a child’s CP birth injury and result in the physician’s liability for the child’s resulting damages. Other risk factors that may lead to PVL—and CP if the PVL is not properly diagnosed and treated—include vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, sepsis in the mother, funisitis (inflammation of the connective tissue of the umbilical cord), and chorioamnionitis (inflammation of the fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection).

Obtain Expert Assistance from Birth Injury Attorney Jeff Killino

Birth injury attorney Jeff Killino has dedicated his practice to obtaining justice for all children who suffer from birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. If your child sustained a CP or other birth injury as a result of medical negligence, our nationally recognized team of birth injury lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you and your child deserve.