When a newborn suffers damage to the brain he or she may be left with difficulties that limit movement, posture, and cognition. Known as cerebral palsy, sufferers usually experience physical and mental disabilities that seriously impact their lives. In many cases, the cerebral palsy happened due to no fault of the medical professionals involved in your baby’s birth. In other cases though, medical malpractice is the cause of this devastating situation. If your child suffers this serious disability, he will require treatment throughout his life. As a result, if the cause of your baby’s brain damage is medical malpractice, it is important that you seek financial compensation so your child can receive the lifetime of expensive care he will require. Contact a Philadelphia cerebral palsy lawyer to discuss what occurred during your child’s birth. We will help you determine if you have a case.
Medical Negligence and Cerebral Palsy
The most common causes of cerebral palsy when it comes to medical negligence involve lack of oxygen (hypoxia or asphyxia) or trauma to your baby’s head resulting in brain damage. Failures on the part of the medical staff include:
- Rough handling during birth resulting in trauma to the head and brain injury
- Improper use of pitocin resulting in too many contractions
- Not detecting or treating infections during pregnancy
- Failing to monitor heart rate during labor and birth
- Not performing cesarean section in a timely fashion
- Not detecting problems with the umbilical cord during pregnancy or birth
- Failure to act quickly if baby is in distress during or after birth
If the negligence of a medical professional caused your baby’s cerebral palsy, speak with a Philadelphia attorney.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Unfortunately, some time can pass before your baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Therefore if any of the issues noted above occurred prior to, during or after your baby’s birth, you should have him screened as soon as possible and as appropriate throughout his infancy and during the first several years of his life. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty sucking or eating or problems with drooling or swallowing
- Spasticity – unusual stiffness in muscles along with exaggerated reflexes
- Rigidity – normal reflexes with unusually stiff muscles
- Muscle tone that varies between too floppy or too stiff
- Athetosis – writhing movements
- Ataxia – lack of muscle coordination
- Involuntary movements and/or tremors
- Failure to meet motor skill or speech milestones
- Favoring one side of the body over the other
People With Cerebral Palsy Require Specialized Life Time Treatment
If your baby is suffering from cerebral palsy, you will find the additional financial costs required to raise him to be staggering. If a medical mistake caused your child’s health problems, the doctor and hospital responsible should also be responsible for the increased costs for his upbringing. A team approach is necessary to help a baby, child, and adult throughout their life.
- Doctors – Your child will need to have frequent appointments with a primary doctor, nurses, social workers, occupational, physical and speech therapists as well as specialists such as rehabilitation physicians, pulmonologists and neurologists.
- Medical problems – He also will likely need lifelong help to avoid common issues that those with CP face, such as nutritional and medical issues. For example, bone thinning, joint dislocation, falls, seizures, pneumonia, gastrointestinal problems and more. He may require surgery throughout his life.
- Home Assistance – Special home care will be required throughout your child’s life. First, your home, and any home he lives in throughout his life, will need to be modified. He will require devices for movement, a wheelchair, crutches, a scooter or other options, depending on his case. You, as his parents, will likely need a van that can accommodate a wheelchair. If he is able to drive, he will need a car that allows him to do so. If not, he will require someone to help him get around throughout his life. If your child is able to leave home, he will probably need someone to be available to assist him at all times. You will likely need to hire home help as well. Living – Some adults may be able to live on their own, depending on the amount of help necessary. Some are required to live in a community or with their parents for the rest of their lives.
- Emotional issues – Those with CP often find themselves judged by society. It can be very difficult to deal with the social stigma. This can require lifetime psychological therapy and medication and can cause substantial pain and suffering for the child and his loving family.
A lawyer in Philadelphia could help you seek compensation for your baby’s financial needs due to their cerebral palsy.
Contact a Philadelphia Cerebral Palsy Attorney for Legal Help
If you believe your baby was injured during pregnancy or birth due to a doctor’s negligence, you shouldn’t bear the consequences alone. Your baby should have the financial support he likely will require for a lifetime of living with CP. You might be able to obtain financial compensation that will help your child receive the treatment he needs throughout his life. Contact the Philadelphia cerebral palsy lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, P.C. to discuss your case. We will listen to what happened and give you our honest opinion. There is no charge for the consultation.