Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscle tone, movement, and/or posture. The condition is caused when a child’s not-fully-developed brain is damaged, either in utero or during labor or delivery. Inadequate oxygen or reduced blood flow to the brain are some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy, though infections, blood clotting, high maternal blood pressure, and other factors can also increase a child’s risk of developing the condition.
Sadly, medical malpractice and birth injuries are some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy. If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was caused as a result of medical negligence, our firm can help. At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we have decades of experience handling all types of complex birth injury cases. Our New Hampshire cerebral palsy lawyers can help you fight for your child’s future.
We strive to hold negligent medical professionals and facilities accountable when their negligence causes serious harm. Call us at (603) 323-4622 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.
Types of Medical Malpractice That Cause Cerebral Palsy
During labor and delivery, it is crucial that nurses, doctors, and other medical staff adhere to a reasonable standard of care. Mistakes or negligent actions can result in serious injuries to the newborn that may lead to cerebral palsy.
Examples of medical negligence that can cause cerebral palsy injuries include:
- Failure to order a C-section in a timely manner, which can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or long-term oxygen deprivation to the infant’s brain
- Failure to diagnose and/or treat an infection, such as meningitis
- Failure to diagnose/treat preeclampsia or jaundice
- Incorrect use of forceps or improper vacuum extraction during delivery
- Failure to treat complications with the placenta or umbilical cord
This list is not exhaustive; any act of medical negligence that results in lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain, cerebral hemorrhaging, fetal stroke, or similar complications can cause cerebral palsy.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
When making a diagnosis, medical professionals look for a few common symptoms of cerebral palsy, including:
- Poor muscle control (too stiff or too “floppy”)
- Lack of muscle coordination or poor head control
- Tremors, involuntary movement, or exaggerated reflexes
- Failure to reach motor skill/movement milestones
- Difficulties sucking, eating, or swallowing
- Difficulties walking or carrying out precise movements
- Tendency to favor one side of the body
- Speech development delays
Doctors may also look for the presence of slow, writhing movements or seizures as early indications that a child suffered a cerebral palsy injury.
In addition to life-long difficulties with ordinary actions such as walking, speaking, and standing, cerebral palsy can lead to other neurological disorders. Individuals with cerebral palsy may develop problems with vision or hearing, mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities, oral diseases, or urinary incontinence. They may also suffer from atypical pain perceptions.
Providing Assistance for Parents & Loved Ones
The costs associated with caring for a child or loved one with cerebral palsy can be steep—often surpassing $6 million over the course of a lifetime. Individuals with cerebral palsy typically require immediate and long-term treatment, pain management and medication, wheelchairs and ramps to move around their home, physical and occupational therapy, and continuous in-home care.
At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we strive to help families recover the full, fair compensation they are owed to assist with the cost of damages incurred as a result of medical negligence. Our New Hampshire cerebral palsy attorneys understand the complexities inherent in these types of cases. We provide compassionate, personalized guidance for our clients, coupled with aggressive representation both in and out of the courtroom. We have won more medical malpractice settlements and verdicts than any other firm in the state.
Contact our award-winning attorneys online or by phone at (603) 323-4622 to get started with a free case evaluation.