For expectant mothers, bringing a healthy baby into the world is their top priority. Unfortunately, labor and delivery are fraught with risks for both mother and child. Things too often go wrong during pregnancy or during the last moments before a child’s birth that can lead to lasting medical complications.
One of the most commonly known birth injuries that still occurs frequently in the United States is cerebral palsy. Understanding what causes cerebral palsy can empower parents to seek legal guidance in the wake of a child’s diagnosis.
Injuries, illness and birth issues can cause cerebral palsy
There are numerous reasons why a previously healthy fetus may begin developing abnormal neurology. Certain infections while a mother is pregnant have a known association with cerebral palsy. If a woman contracts chickenpox, rubella or cytomegalovirus during pregnancy, the unborn child has an increased risk of cerebral palsy. Some bacterial infections could also lead to improper neurological development of a fetus.
Physical trauma during the pregnancy, especially trauma to the abdomen that harms the fetus, could also potentially cause cerebral palsy. One of the most common and tragic causes of cerebral palsy involves issues during the labor and delivery process. When doctors, nurses or other medical professionals in the labor and delivery ward provide inappropriate care or are negligent while monitoring mother and child, the situation that led to the child’s cerebral palsy might actually constitute medical malpractice.
When legal action may be possible
Sometimes, medical professionals fail to intervene when an infant goes into distress. When things go wrong during labor, it can take just a few minutes for oxygen deprivation to start causing brain damage. Careful fetal monitoring and proactive interventions when there are signs of distress can make all the difference for the unborn child and their entire family.
Most professionals and facilities carry insurance policies to protect against liability for causing birth injuries and there may be grounds for a civil lawsuit in cases where there is no insurance to compensate a family. Connecting a child’s cerebral palsy with medical malpractice can help a family pursue both a sense of closure and financial compensation.