Cerebral palsy, a movement disorder caused when the developing brain is damaged, is often not detected right away in children. For some children, symptoms appear in infancy, but for others, the symptoms of cerebral palsy may not appear until they are 3 or 4 years old.
Often, the exact cause for cerebral palsy cannot be identified, although there are many known risk factors that could contribute to triggering the condition. Many of these risk factors involve the mother’s health, an illness in infancy or mutations in genes. These factors cannot always be prevented. However, there are some instances when a medical professional could have prevented the child’s condition.
When might medical malpractice cause cerebral palsy?
Although symptoms sometimes do not appear until later in the child's life, medical malpractice can cause cerebral palsy when the fetus is developing, during the delivery or shortly after birth. Medical malpractice may have caused your child’s condition if medical professionals did not detect fetal distress during delivery, did not react appropriately to fetal distress, did not properly monitor the mother and child when anesthesia was used, or did not treat a maternal infection as quickly as they should have.
Medical malpractice could also be to blame if:
- Data from prenatal tests was misinterpreted
- You were not properly informed that your child could have cerebral palsy
- Delivery tools were improperly used during the birth
- The mother was prescribed a medication that is dangerous during pregnancy
If medical malpractice caused your child’s cerebral palsy, it may be appropriate to seek justice. You may be able to receive compensation, which can help offset some of the costs associated with raising a child who has cerebral palsy. Also, by seeking justice, you may be able to prevent another child from being injured in a similar way.