What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a type of brain disorder that seriously influences a subject's ability to think and use his or her body, with effects ranging from mild to severe and altering a wide range of functions, depending on what part of the brain is affected. This type of injury frequently occurs during the labor and delivery processor as a result of injury to the brain after birth.
Does Lack of Oxygen Cause Cerebral Palsy?
The lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth, known as birth asphyxia and birth hypoxia, is a known cause of cerebral palsy. Medications or drugs are often administered to patients to stimulate and hurry labor and delivery. Unfortunately, these drugs can decrease the flow of oxygen to the baby and cause catastrophic brain damage. Brain damage can present itself in many ways, depending on the extent of the damage and the region of the brain affected. Similarly, cerebral palsy has a range of severity, from the loss of focal muscle control to total quadriplegia. Often, families are left in the dark as to the cause of their child's abnormalities.
Brain damage can present in many ways, depending on the extent of the damage and the region of the brain affected.
Birth Trauma Causes Cerebral Palsy
Birth trauma is also a significant cause of cerebral palsy. The improper use of forceps (photo shown below) and vacuum extractors by physicians and midwives can cause severe brain injury and lifetime debilitation. Also, the improper use of drugs to drive labor and delivery can result in severe birth trauma and cerebral palsy. Often, health care providers fail to understand the ramifications and potential adverse effects of the drugs they administer and severe injury can occur. When children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a mental handicap, or physical handicap, trauma and hypoxia at birth should be looked into as a potential cause.
What Are The Effects of Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy includes a large number of brain disorders that can affect a subject's bodily functions and cognition. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, affect one or both sides of the body, and be more pronounced in the arms and/or legs. Effects include:
- Weakness, paralysis, and/or tightness of muscles;
- Pain, often prevalent in adults;
- The tightness and limited movement of joints;
- Difficulty with eating and digestion;
- Problems with hearing, vision, and/or speech;
- Abnormal walk, movement, use of arms, and positioning of legs;
- Difficulty breathing; and
- Loss of coordination, muscle control, and urinary control.
Sadly, cerebral palsy has no cure and is a permanent brain disorder. While there are specialized treatments and care facilities for those suffering from the disorder, subjects must live their entire lives dealing with it. While some cases result in lesser difficulties, many result in devastating symptoms.
Possible Incidents of Birth Injury
Infant delivery is a delicate process that has been subjected to new methods and technology over the years, making the process easier and allowing medical staff to properly deal with complications. However, these innovations can lead to other forms of injuries. Possible birth injury accidents, both old and new, that can cause cerebral palsy include:
- Injuries from improper use of forceps;
- Minor to severe injuries to the head by use of vacuum extraction;
- Delivery that deprives the infant of oxygen;
- Negligence by medical team in not recognizing infant distress; and
- Other forms of negligence in not using appropriate procedures during delivery.
Because of the delicate nature of the brain, even a small lack of oxygen or any head injury during birth can lead to cerebral palsy. When such injuries are due to negligence on the part of medical staff, the at-fault parties and hospital can be held liable for the injuries and losses that result.
A Proven Record of Success in Obstetrical Malpractice in Nebraska
Cullan & Cullan LLC have specialized medical experience and knowledge in obstetrics. This enables our Omaha birth injury lawyers to represent babies injured at birth with the skill and expertise necessary to maximize recovery for these babies and their families. Life-long injuries will necessitate life-long needs, including therapy, surgery, equipment, and care. The associated financial costs are tremendous. Our attorneys have a proven record in recovering the maximum compensation available from the medical insurance companies so as to minimize the financial impact such injuries will have on the injured baby and his or her family.
We welcome your calls about obstetrical malpractice cases. Contact us at (402) 882-7080 for an appointment. Our physician/trial lawyers represent clients nationwide and are available to answer your Cerebral Palsy case questions.