What Are Birth Injuries?
As the term suggests, Birth Injuries are injuries that occur during the birth of a baby, that can be caused by mechanical interventions (such as the use of forceps, or vacuum), that due to user error or improper use, result in harm to the baby. These types of injury can range from scrapes and bruises, to the more severe deprivation of oxygen, causing more serious complications. Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common birth disorders, and is a type of disorder that can develop as a result of a birth injury.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that develops as a result of brain damage, which can occur while a child is developing, or during a child's birth. Because it it occurs as a result of damage to the brain, and is thus not a genetic disorcer, Cerebral Palsy may not be detected by means of the typical genetic screening conducted during pregnancy.
Cerebral Palsy affects many of the body's functions, such as motor skills, muscle tone, and overall movement, in both children and adults. Babies born before full term, which are commonly referred to as "premature," especially those who are born weighing less than 3.3 pounds have an increased risk of being born with Cerebral Palsy. In more severe cases, a child with Cerebral Palsy may require intensive therapy. The types of therapies can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other services. Because of the potential need for these support services, even with a combination of therapies, a child born with Cerebral Palsy may never become an independent adult, because of the disorder.
Birth Injuries Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is usually caused by damage to the brain, which can occur either during gestation, or after birth. The brain damage may occur when a doctor or healthcare provider makes a mistake in providing care, or when a hospital is negligent. Among the most common causes of Cerebral Palsy are: infection during pregnancy, intense bouncing of a baby (which may or may not rise to the level of the commonly known Shaken Baby Syndrome), oxygen deprivation to the brain (such as when something interferes with the umbilical cord's ability to function), or trauma to the head during labor or delivery (such as can occur with the use of mechanical interventions such as forceps or vaccuum).
Additionally, it has more recently been learned that Cerebral Palsy can be caused by medication taken by the mother (like Paxil or Accutane), during, and sometimes even before, pregnancy. Sadly, becuase of the nature of the disease, there is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
If your child was born with Cerebral Palsy, you may be able to file a lawsuit if the disorder was caused by a physician's error or hospital's negligence. While a physician's error or a hospital's negligence have to do with standards set by the law, a patient's intuition can be an indication--if you feel that something was not right, your claim is probably worth investigating.
These types of errors are usually referred to as medical malpractice - a mistake caused by medical error, malpractice, or negligence, which leads to a child developing Cerebral Palsy.
Families with children born with Cerebral Palsy can search for experienced Cerebral Palsy lawyers in their area in order to schedule a free legal consultation.
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