The birth of a child should be a joyous event for the parents and their families. We often trust that a medical practitioner in charge of our pregnancy will provide our child with the care they need during a delivery. Unfortunately, some doctors may fail to act with caution when delivering a child. If your child was the victim of a birth injury and developed cerebral palsy, you should consult with an experienced Maryland cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we are dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation that is tailored to your unique needs. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact us at (410) 694-7291. You can also contact us online.
Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that can affect a child’s movement, muscle tones, and other motor functions. A child typically develops cerebral palsy because they suffered a serious brain injury before or during delivery. This means that many cases of cerebral palsy occur because a doctor acted negligently when caring for a pregnant mother or delivering a newborn.
There are many signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy that begin to show themselves during a child’s infant or preschool years. One common sign of cerebral palsy is a child that appears to have abnormal or spastic movements when walking or learning to walk. Other common signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Excessively stiff muscle tone or extremely soft muscle tone
- Difficulties with balance
- Issues with simple tasks like using utensils or getting dressed
- Preferring to use one side of the body over the other (e.g., only reaching and grabbing with one hand)
- Poor muscle coordination
- Speech development delays
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy that are not listed above.
Cerebral palsy can also be divided into categories depending upon the types of symptoms that a child is exhibiting. For example, spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of the disorder that affects people. Children with spastic cerebral palsy will struggle with fine motor skills and learning to speak. Unfortunately, diagnosing a specific type of cerebral palsy can be difficult in its early stages.
To learn more about the causes of cerebral palsy, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Cerebral Palsy Birth Injuries in Maryland
Cerebral palsy can often be traced to a negligent act committed by a doctor while a baby was still in the womb or while the mother was in labor. If a Maryland doctor failed to exercise caution that later resulted in a newborn developing cerebral palsy, they should be held liable for the child’s injuries.
Below is a list of common causes of cerebral palsy that may result from medical malpractice.
Incorrectly Using a Birth-Assisting Instrument
To aid in the delivery of a child, a doctor may utilize birth-assisting instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors. Forceps and vacuum extractors are typically attached to the head of the child to help pull them from the birth canal. However, if a doctor uses excessive force when using either tool, they could cause the child to suffer a serious head injury that could later develop into cerebral palsy.
Throughout the duration of the pregnancy, a doctor should ensure that a mother does not contract an infection that could pass to her newborn. Failure to diagnose an infection that could spread to a child could make a doctor liable for an injury to a child.
Lack of Oxygen
Insufficient oxygen to the brain of a child could also lead to the development of cerebral palsy. There are a number of ways that a child may receive insufficient oxygen during a delivery. For example, if the umbilical cord of a child becomes entangled around their neck during delivery, the child will be cut off from oxygen and vital nutrients the brain needs. Performing a cesarean section may be a better option under these circumstances.
Alternatively, a breech birth could also result in a lack of oxygen for a child. A breech birth is when the feet of the child is facing the birth canal instead of the child’s head. This is dangerous as a child could become stuck in the birth canal during delivery without sufficient oxygen. This is especially risky if the child weighs more than an average child.
There are other causes of cerebral palsy that have not been listed above. For example, if a child suffers a brain hemorrhage, there is a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy.
Despite how your child was injured by a medical practitioner, you should not delay in speaking with an experienced attorney. Your claim is subject to the statute of limitations, and every day you delay may have an impact on your case in various ways.
Work with Our Trusted Maryland Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Attorneys Today
If your newborn was a victim of medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced Maryland cerebral palsy birth injury attorney. Birth injury attorney Randolph Rice possesses an abundance of experience litigating several types of birth injury claims, and he would a medical practitioner injured your child to fight for you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.