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As a parent, it can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that your child has a condition like cerebral palsy. You may find yourself wondering if there was anything you could have done to prevent it.

The truth is that in many cases, cerebral palsy isn’t preventable. It is often the result of a brain injury during pregnancy or delivery. However, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of your child developing cerebral palsy.

In this discussion, we look at some ways to reduce the risk associated with cerebral palsy. We also explore what to do if you think your child’s condition may have been preventable.

If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it’s important to know your rights. At the Doctor Lawyer Firm, we specialize in helping families affected by birth injuries. We can help you understand your legal options and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our medical malpractice attorney.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

This neurological condition affects movement and muscle tone. It’s caused by a brain injury, typically during pregnancy or delivery. Cerebral palsy ranges from mild to severe, and it can affect different parts of the body.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are treatments that can help improve the symptoms. With early diagnosis and intervention, many people with cerebral palsy are able to lead happy and fulfilling lives.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury. This can occur during pregnancy, delivery, or in the early months of life.

Possible cerebral palsy causes include:

  • Infections during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), rubella, toxoplasmosis, or syphilis
  • Oxygen deprivation in brain during delivery (birth asphyxia)
  • Brain damage from a head injury
  • Genetic disorders
  • Abnormal brain development

Was My Child’s Cerebral Palsy Preventable?

In many cases, cerebral palsy isn’t preventable. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you could have done to reduce the risk.

There are, in fact, some things you can do that have been shown to reduce the risk associated with cerebral palsy. These include:

  • Getting early and regular prenatal care. This can help identify any problems with the pregnancy, such as infections or abnormal brain development.
  • Avoiding risky behaviors during pregnancy, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
  • Making sure you have a healthy diet and get enough rest during pregnancy.
  • Avoiding infections during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, be sure to wash your hands often and stay away from people who are sick.
  • Getting prompt treatment for any infections during pregnancy.
  • Going to all of your prenatal appointments and being aware of any changes in your health or the health of your baby.
  • Delivering your baby at a full-term gestation.
  • Having a skilled and experienced health care team during delivery.

Admittedly, though, there’s only so much you are responsible for when giving birth. The majority of care falls on your doctor and their team. Improper medical management can result in a number of complications, including cerebral palsy.

But before we discuss those, it’s important to understand acquired cerebral palsy.

Acquired Cerebral Palsy

Acquired cerebral palsy refers to a type of the condition that is not present at birth. It occurs after birth, typically as a result of a brain injury. Head trauma is the most common cause of acquired cerebral palsy. Other possible causes include infections, stroke, and oxygen deprivation to the brain.

Unlike cerebral palsy, acquired cerebral palsy often can be prevented. That’s because it is typically caused by an injury that could have been avoided.

For example, head injuries are a common cause of acquired cerebral palsy. But many head injuries are preventable. We know that wearing a seatbelt, using a car seat, and wearing a helmet can help reduce the risk of head injuries.

But what about during childbirth? Below are some of the things doctors miss or neglect that could attribute to an acquired cerebral palsy diagnosis:

  • Missing a heart defect at birth
  • Failing to properly treat an infection at birth
  • Failure to treat the mother medical conditions that could cause the baby brain damage
  • Not performing a C-section when necessary
  • Not properly monitoring the baby’s heart rate
  • Using too much vacuum or forceps during delivery
  • Delaying a C-section
  • Not being prepared to handle complications during delivery
  • Failing to safely address umbilical cord complications

These are just some of the ways that medical negligence can cause or contribute to acquired cerebral palsy. If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you think medical negligence may have played a role, it’s important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. 

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Cerebral palsy often causes a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary from person to person. That’s why it’s so important to have a medical malpractice attorney who understands the risks and symptoms associated with the condition.

Contact the Doctor Lawyer Firm Today

No one should have to suffer because of medical negligence. If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you think it was caused by medical negligence, contact the Doctor Lawyer Firm today. 

We can help you better understand your legal options and what compensation may be available to you and your family.

When it comes to something as serious as cerebral palsy, you need an advocate on your side who understands the gravity of the situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

Call 1-833-MEDMALS or fill out our online form to get started.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.