When a family suffers a birth injury the experience is always traumatic. If the birth injury is caused by medical malpractice the individual and family deserve to be properly compensated. A common birth injury caused by medical malpractice is cerebral palsy. One family recently won a hard fought birth injury suit involving their 8-year-old son.
The parents of a boy with cerebral palsy were awarded $58 million on behalf of their son. Around $8 million of the award is expected to provide a lifetime of care for the 8-year-old who cannot speak, eat, or walk and suffers from seizures. The remaining portion of the award is attributed to pain and suffering the birth injury caused. Lawyers for the parents say the boy acquired cerebral palsy because of brain damage that resulted from an obstetrician's choice to delay delivery. While the exact causes of cerebral palsy are not clear, many cases of cerebral palsy are caused by brain damage that occurs before or during birth.
According to about-cerebral-palsy.org, examples of medical mistakes made during delivery that can cause cerebral palsy include:
- Leaving the child in the birth canal too long, which deprives the brain of oxygen
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to recognize and treat seizures following delivery
- Failure to perform a cesarean section in response to fetal distress
- Failure to plan a cesarean section
- Failure to respond to changing conditions of the mother
- Failure to diagnose and treat meningitis
- Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice
- Excessive use of vacuum extraction
- Improper use of forceps
Cerebral palsy affects the development of each individual differently. Developmental issues include varying degrees of physical disability, seizures, speech and communication problems, and mental disability. Individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy also may have varying medical issues like visual impairment, hearing loss, gastroesophageal reflux, food aspiration, tooth decay, osteoporosis and behavior problems. Many issues associated with cerebral palsy require ongoing therapy and use of equipment like wheelchairs.
Since there is no cure for cerebral palsy, it is extremely important that a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy receives the best quality of care to obtain the best quality of life. Therefore proper compensation is extremely important.
If you believe your child has symptoms associated with cerebral palsy, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to review your legal options.