Common Birth Injury: Cerebral Palsy

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 10,000 babies a year are diagnosed with cerebral palsy and 800,000 people in the United States suffer from the condition. For each of these sufferers, the estimated cost of care over their lifetime for their cerebral palsy is $921,000, reports the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes.

What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder that involves the cerebrum and the cortex in the brain. Cases can vary from mild to severe, with some sufferers reporting motor problems, sensation and perception issues, epilepsy, communication problems, behavioral problems, seizures, learning disorders, and limited movement. Although the disease is not degenerative, it also does not improve over time and there is no cure.

What caused your child's cerebral palsy? Although there are many causes of cerebral palsy, and although doctors and scientists are still learning more about the condition, it is believed that five to ten percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused during the labor and birth process are are the results of a birth injury. In many of these cases, the doctor, nurses, and hospital may have been negligent and your baby's cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Just a few examples of how a botched labor could lead to cerebral palsy include: the failure to order a c-section in a timely manner, the excessive or inappropriate use of a vacuum extractor, the failure to treat seizures following birth, and other improper delivery decisions.

If you think that your son or daughter was injured during the labor and birth process and that he or she now suffers from cerebral palsy following the care you received, you should contact a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer immediately. We have medical experts that can review your medical history and shed light on what might have happened to your baby before, during, and after the birthing process.
James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller