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Can Cerebral Palsy be Detected during Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a time of great excitement and anticipation. it is also a time of concern. Expectant mothers are often worried about the health of the child they are carrying. Many want to know if their child is at risk for developmental problems or other medical conditions, including cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, it is impossible to detect cerebral palsy during pregnancy. it typically takes months or years to accurately diagnose the condition.

However, many problems and issues could arise during pregnancy. it is your doctor’s responsibility to monitor your health and the health of your developing child. If medical issues occur, you expect your doctor to take the appropriate steps to address them.

While it is impossible to detect cerebral palsy in a developing baby, medical mistakes during pregnancy could potentially harm a child. Depending on the problem, one of the effects of improper prenatal treatment is the development of cerebral palsy. If your child has cerebral palsy and you believe it resulted from poor medical treatment during your pregnancy or a preventable error at birth, contact the experienced Baltimore birth injury attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. For a free appointment, call our law offices at (410) 694-7291.

Pregnancy and Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a development condition caused by damage to an infant’s brain. the disorder impacts a child’s muscle tone, speech, and movement. Because many of the indications of cerebral palsy are related to developmental milestones, it takes months or years to diagnose. In many cases, cerebral palsy is caused by trauma that occurs during delivery that injuries an infant’s brain or deprives the newborn of blood and oxygen.

While it is impossible to diagnose cerebral palsy during pregnancy, many factors could increase the child’s risk of developing the condition. These factors range from illness and infection to physical trauma.

Infections are generally viral, bacterial, or parasitic and could affect the mother, the unborn child, or both. In many cases, an expectant mother will pass the infection to their developing baby. If untreated, an infection could result in a fever that disrupts the conditions a fetus needs to develop optimally.

Some common infections that could cause a child to develop cerebral palsy include rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, and a common unrainy tract infection. Ideally, a doctor monitors a mother throughout their pregnancy, so any condition is treated before the baby is harmed. Anything that affects the temperature of the womb or decreases the flow of blood and nutrients could cause damage to the baby’s brain.

Medical Malpractice and Pre-Natal Care

Once a doctor-patient relationship is established, a medical professional owes their patient the same competent and skilled care that another similarly trained professional would have provided under the same circumstances. This standard of care applies to doctors treating women during their pregnancy. When a medical professional’s conduct deviates from this standard, their patient could be a victim of medical malpractice.

Contagious Diseases, Infections, or Medical Conditions

When a doctor fails to diagnose a contagious disease, infection, or medical condition the mother is experiencing, the developing baby is in danger. When a medical condition such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes is misdiagnosed or missed altogether, a child is liable to suffer negative consequences. If there is a loss of oxygen to the brain or the child’s development is hindered, brain damage is likely to occur.

It is up to the medical professional to assess the risks a pregnant woman is facing. This includes conducting diagnostic tests to ensure the pregnancy is progressing normally and the child is healthy. Early dedication of diseases or medical conditions gives doctors time to address an issue before the child suffers permanent health problems.

Ectopic Pregnancy

When a fetus develops inside its mother’s fallopian tubes instead of the uterus, both are at serious risk. An ectopic pregnancy could result in umbilical cord compression that deprives the child’s brain of blood and oxygen. Doctors should be aware of this condition and take appropriate steps to address the problem.

Proving Prenatal Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims tend to be the most challenging personal injury cases. However, when preventable errors occur during pregnancy that harm a developing child, the negligent party or parties should be held accountable.

There are some indications that your prenatal care did not meet the accepted medical standard. If your infant has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you experienced any of the below during your pregnancy, contact our knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice lawyers immediately.

  • Did your doctor access your medical history, conduct a physical examination, or discuss your lifestyle with you during your pregnancy?
  • Did your doctor request an update of your recent medical history, including any current medication you were taking or any recent diagnosis of a compromising medical condition?
  • Were routine pregnancy tests conducted, such as stress tests and ultrasounds?
  • Did your doctor provide you with a clear picture of the risks and possible complications you could experience during your pregnancy?
  • If any medical conditions or issues arose, did your doctor treat them in a timely and professional manner?
  • Were you given information and warnings regarding how failing to maintain proper nutrition during pregnancy could affect your child?

Our office will have to establish that your doctor or hospital breached their duty of care, resulting in your child developing cerebral palsy. Depending on what happened, your doctor or the facility could be held liable. Our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys will have to thoroughly investigate your claim.

Contact Our Maryland Birth Injury Attorneys if Your Child Developed Cerebral Palsy

Many cases of cerebral palsy occur because of negligent conduct during delivery. However, some children suffer brain damage because of medical malpractice committed during pregnancy. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our attorneys and staff are committed to holding medical professionals who fail in their duty to provide adequate care liable for their preventable errors. Call our Harford County medical malpractice lawyers at (410) 694-7291.