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Can a Birth Injury Cause Cerebral Palsy?

While some birth injuries are minor and don’t have a lasting impact, some, including cerebral palsy can have permanent consequences. Sometimes, these types of injuries are unavoidable, but others could have been prevented if a healthcare professional had used the proper degree of care. Infants who are born with cerebral palsy may struggle with movement, posture, and muscle tone for the rest of their lives. Negligent doctors and other healthcare providers whose negligence causes these types of injuries can and should be held accountable for their actions. If your own child was born with cerebral palsy or another disorder because of medical negligence, please reach out to an experienced Florida birth injury attorney to learn more about your recovery options. 

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is actually the name of a group of disorders that are often the result of damage to a child’s brain, usually during development and often before birth. Typical symptoms include:

  • Impaired movement;
  • Involuntary movements;
  • Rigidity or floppiness of the limbs;
  • Abnormal reflexes;
  • Unsteady walking; and
  • Abnormal posture. 

In most cases, cerebral palsy begins manifesting during infancy as a difficulty swallowing, reduced range of motion in numerous joints, and eye muscle imbalance. Children with this condition may also experience a delay in speech development, learning disorders, and difficulty with mastering fine motor skills. 

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Besides genetic mutations and trauma, cerebral palsy has also been linked to problems during pregnancy and delivery, such as:

  • A lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during delivery;
  • Fetal stroke, which can occur when the blood supply to a fetus’ brain is disrupted; 
  • Maternal infections that affect brain development in a fetus; 
  • Low birth weights;
  • Birth at fewer than 28 weeks;
  • Bleeding in the brain immediately after birth; and
  • Infant infections that result in inflammation of the brain. 

These kinds of risks are higher for certain people, including mothers with specific infections, such as rubella, herpes, and the zika virus. Exposure to toxins can also cause this type of birth injury, as can a mother’s seizure disorders and thyroid problems. Certain illnesses among newborns can also increase the chances of suffering from cerebral palsy, including bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis, and jaundice.

While cerebral palsy isn’t always preventable, it often is. When a doctor’s negligence in failing to monitor a fetus or mother, either during pregnancy or childbirth, did cause this kind of disorder, however, the at-fault parties can be held liable for medical expenses and disability. 

Could CP be due to negligence? 

The most common causes of brain injuries in children are motor vehicle crashes, falls and infections. However, injuries or problems during birth can contribute to a brain injury in a child. If your child receives a CP diagnosis, you might want to have a lawyer review your child’s health history to determine if there was any negligence on the part of the doctor.

The CDC estimates that medical costs for children with cerebral palsy are about 10 times higher than a child without the disability. If the doctor or hospital was responsible for the child’s injuries, you should hold the entity accountable to prevent the same thing from happening to another child and to ensure the future care of your child. Birth injuries can have long-lasting consequences for your family.

Available 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

Cerebral palsy and other birth injuries can leave a child struggling with mobility and speech for the rest of his or her life. To learn more about holding the negligent physician who was responsible for your own child’s condition, responsible for his or her actions, please contact the dedicated Florida birth injury lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP today. You can reach a member of our legal team 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 305-371-2692.