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What Causes Cerebral Palsy in Babies?


Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s muscles and motor skills. In many cases, cerebral palsy is a genetic disorder. Unfortunately, many children develop cerebral palsy during or soon after being born because of a preventable error. When a child suffers brain damage during delivery, they could develop cerebral palsy. If medical malpractice is to blame, the negligent healthcare provider or facility should be held liable.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to an infant’s brain. However, there are many ways a newborn’s brain could be injured. Perhaps a doctor applied too much force with forceps when trying to assist a difficult birth or a prenatal physician failed to diagnose and treat an infection that harmed the developing child. If your child exhibits signs of cerebral palsy, you should contact our experienced Baltimore birth injury attorneys to review your pregnancy and delivery in detail. Your child could have been the victim of medical malpractice.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our attorneys and staff are committed to holding medical professionals and healthcare providers accountable when their preventable mistakes result in irreparable harm. the costs of treating and raising a child with cerebral palsy could be astronomical. If your doctor or another medical professional’s negligence is to blame, you should be compensated. Call our law offices at (410) 694-7291 to discuss your case.

Brain Damage and Cerebral Palsy

There are many possible causes of brain damage that could result in cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, some of these stem from preventable mistakes that occur during pregnancy, delivery, or soon after birth.

Asphyxiation

Asphyxia occurs when a child’s brain is deprived of oxygen. This condition could be caused by a pinched umbilical cord, ruptured uterus, or a detached placenta. During a difficult delivery or breech birth, doctors must appropriately address any issues and complications to protect the health of the mother and child.

Hemorrhage

A brain hemorrhage occurs when there is abnormal bleeding in the brain. Usually caused by a ruptured blood vessel, a hemorrhage could happen naturally or because of the negligent conduct of the treating doctor. When the bleeding results in pressure that damages the brain, cerebral palsy could develop.

Brain Trauma

The skull surrounding an infant’s head is soft and not fully formed. This is necessary to facilitate birth. However, it also means that the brain is subject to injury if the child experiences any trauma during the birthing process. In many cases, a doctor will injury a child when they apply excessive pressure with forceps or a vacuum extractor. Any brain damage could cause cerebral palsy.

Infections in Mothers or Newborns

aIf the mother is ill or has a serious infection during pregnancy, their child is also at risk. When a doctor fails to treat or misdiagnoses a mother’s medical condition, the developing baby could be harmed. Conditions such as cytomegalovirus and rubella present significant risk factors for cerebral palsy.
A newborn infant could also contract a serious infection. For example, meningitis is an infection that could result in brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Jaundice

It is not uncommon for a newborn infant to experience a mild case of jaundice. the excess bilirubin in an infant’s blood is typically filtered through the liver. Once this occurs, the condition should clear up. However, if left untreated or undiagnosed, a severe case of jaundice could develop into a condition known as kernicterus. High bilirubin levels are often toxic and could cause permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Medical Malpractice and Damage to a Newborn’s Brain

Many of the conditions described above could be prevented with proper medical care. In many cases, brain damage in a newborn is the direct result of a preventable mistake by the treating doctor or another medical professional assisting during the birth. Mistakes could also occur before the child is delivered.

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Medical Conditions

A baby could experience harm, including brain damage, during pregnancy if the mother has a medical condition, infection, or illness that goes untreated or misdiagnosed. When doctors fail to provide the care a pregnant mother requires, their conduct could constitute medical malpractice.

Birth Injuries

Many things could go wrong during delivery. Experienced doctors must adequately assess the risks a mother and child face and be prepared to address any problems that arise. Some common causes of birth injuries that result in brain damage include improper use of forceps, failure to order a cesarean section, and misdiagnosing fetal distress.

Lack of Post-Natal Treatment

Some infants develop cerebral palsy soon after birth. If a child suffers from untreated infections, such as meningitis, it could injure their brain and cause cerebral palsy. Additionally, failure to diagnose or treat a severe case of jaundice could constitute medical malpractice.
The above is far from a complete list of errors and careless mistakes your doctor or hospital staff could make. If your child has cerebral palsy, it is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice attorney to help determine if someone should be held liable for your pain and the harm your child suffered.

Contact Our Maryland Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy Lawyers to Discuss Your Case

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that will impact your child for the rest of their life. it will also take an emotional and financial strain on you and your family. If your child was the victim of medical malpractice and their brain injury was caused by a preventable mistake, the negligent party should be held accountable. Medical malpractice cases are challenging, so you need an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney with the expertise and resources to handle difficult cases. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to review your legal options.