Cerebral palsy is a congenital brain disorder that affects posture, movement, and muscle tone. The disorder can start during or before birth, with medical malpractice increasing its risk. Below are some ways medical malpractice can cause cerebral palsy.
Failure to Detect or Diagnose Problems
Health problems during pregnancy, childbirth, or shortly after delivery can cause a baby's cerebral palsy. According to the Mayo Clinic, examples of pregnancy health issues that increase the risk of cerebral palsy include:
- Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease
- Cytomegalovirus, a viral flu-like disease
- Exposure to toxins
- Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that you can get from contaminated substances
- Jaundice, a condition that arises if the infant's blood filtration is not as efficient as it should be
Your doctor should monitor your health and detect health issues such as those above. Otherwise, you may hold the doctor liable for your child's cerebral palsy. In such a case, you must prove that the doctor should have detected the health issues but failed to do so. You must also link the health issue to your baby's cerebral palsy.
Failure to Treat or Manage Health Conditions
Your doctor should not just detect issues that can harm you or your baby during pregnancy or childbirth; the doctor should also offer a satisfactory treatment. The doctor should:
- Diagnose the condition
- Explain the condition, its treatment, side effects, complications, and possible consequences if you don't get the treatment
- Work with you to realize the treatment
For example, jaundice is treatable, and its timely treatment reduces the risk of cerebral palsy. A doctor who detects the condition but fails to treat it or offers the wrong treatment regimen might be guilty of medical malpractice.
Injuries to the baby during delivery can also cause cerebral palsy. Mistakes that reduce oxygen flow to the brain are especially dangerous. Examples of such mistakes include:
- The improper use of delivery forceps
- Excessive use of force on the baby during delivery
- Failure to notice the baby's unnatural position during delivery
Such issues restrict blood flow to the brain, and efficient blood flow is necessary for oxygen delivery. Prove that the doctor should have known how to avoid such situations and you have a viable medical malpractice claim against the doctor.
Medical malpractice is a complicated form of personal injury. Medical malpractice rules, regulations, and laws are unique, but you must follow them. Consult a medical malpractice lawyer to review your case and help you pursue the damages you deserve.
Contact a law firm like Buckley Law Office for more information.