Birth injuries and cerebral palsy: A continued problem.
Cerebral palsy, disorders that impact a person’s movement, muscle tone or posture, is a problem that families throughout the country continue to face. These disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are the most common motor disability in childhood.
The issue is so prevalent that the Huffington Post recently published an article discussing the frustration of coming to terms with having a child diagnosed with this disorder. The author shared his stories of triumph and aggravation at the disorder his son faced due to a “botched delivery.”
What causes cerebral palsy?
Medical experts with Mayo Clinic explain that cerebral palsy is the result of a disruption in brain development prior to a child’s birth. This can be caused by infections in the fetus or mother as well as a lack of oxygen or traumatic head injury during the labor and delivery process.
Physicians can help reduce these risks by monitoring the mother for infections. Some maternal infections that increase the risk of cerebral palsy in an infant include rubella, chickenpox, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, exposure to certain toxins and thyroid problems. Infant illnesses that increase risk include bacterial meningitis and severe, untreated jaundice. These risks can be reduced by encouraging mothers to have necessary vaccinations prior to becoming pregnant and receiving treatment when necessary.
Impact of medical intervention
One example of the power of medical intervention involves jaundice. Jaundice occurs when the bilirubin builds up in the infant’s bloodstream, causing a yellowing of the skin. Infants should be checked at birth while in the hospital and again 48 hours after leaving the hospital. Proper monitoring and treatment of this condition can greatly reduce the risk of developing cerebral palsy.
A second example involves monitoring the labor and delivery process. The CDC elaborates that a lack of oxygen can result from birth complications. These complications include detachment of the placenta, uterine rupture or issues with the umbilical cord. The risk can be reduced when physicians and medical staff carefully monitor the fetus during the laboring process. This includes monitoring the heart rate and the fetus’s oxygen. If the fetus is not getting enough oxygen, various interventions are available. These interventions can help better ensure that the infant is born without suffering from the detrimental effect of a lack of oxygen. This includes use of cesarean, or c-section, deliveries.
Remedies available for victims
If you believe that your child is the victim of poor medical care leading to the development of cerebral palsy, remedies are likely available to help cover the cost of medical care, rehabilitation and continued treatment. Establishing a medical malpractice claim for a birth injury can be difficult. As a result, victims are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced birth injury lawyer.
Keywords: personal injury birth injury