The birth of a child is a joyous experience for parents. After carrying and caring for your child, the last piece of news you want to receive is that your child was injured during the birthing process. Cerebral palsy is a difficult disability for a child and a child’s family to handle. There are several factors that cause cerebral palsy that expectant parents should know about. If your child was injured during birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you should speak with an experienced Baltimore birth injury lawyer.
The attorneys at Bennett & Heyman, P.A. understand how distressing it is to see your child suffer because of the negligence of healthcare professionals. We are here to help your family hold those healthcare professionals responsible for their mistakes. Our firm has served clients in Baltimore and across Maryland for decades, and we are prepared to represent you aggressively in your birth injury case. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (410) 845-2385, or contact us online.
Common Cerebral Palsy Causes
Certain parts of the human brain are responsible for motor control, coordination, and balance. A traumatic injury to one of these areas may cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy can also be caused by abnormal development of the brain.
One possible cause of cerebral palsy is asphyxiation during labor and delivery. Asphyxiation occurs when the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen. Asphyxiation during childbirth can happen for various reasons, including:
- Premature detachment of the placenta, causing a loss of blood flow and depriving the child of oxygen and essential nutrients
- A rupture of the uterus, which may cause a child to slip into the mother’s abdomen and suffocate
- Pinching an umbilical cord in a manner that restricts oxygen to the child
- The umbilical cord becoming wrapped around a child’s neck
Another possible cause of cerebral palsy is head trauma. Head trauma often occurs when an infant is delivered in an unsafe position or the infant is unusually large. If a physician applies too much pressure on an infant’s head or neck during the delivery, the physician’s actions may cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. Head trauma is also possible if healthcare professionals improperly utilize vacuums, forceps, or other medical equipment to assist delivery of the child.
Severe jaundice may also cause cerebral palsy in newborn children. Jaundice can be diagnosed by examining a yellow color to a child’s skin, the whites of a child’s eyes, or both.
Excess bilirubin causes severe jaundice. This chemical pigment is usually filtered out once a child’s liver develops. Severe jaundice may be treated with phototherapy, which is the use of special lights. If a child continues to develop excess bilirubin, the bilirubin will become toxic to the brain of the child.
Types of Cerebral Palsy (CP)
There are four sections of the brain that control motor functions and body movement: the motor cortex, the pyramidal tract, the cerebellum, and the basal ganglia. Suffering an injury to one of these four sections may cause a child to develop different types of cerebral palsy.
Athetoid or dyskinetic CP means your child may have suffered damage to their cerebellum or basal ganglia. This type of CP will cause your child to have difficulty with balance or involuntary movements.
Ataxic CP occurs solely due to damage to the cerebellum. Children diagnosed with ataxic CP may have issues with coordination and fine motor skills.
Damage to the motor cortex can cause a child to suffer from exaggerated or jerky movements. This is known as “spastic” cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy, one of the most common forms of CP, can also cause a child to suffer from:
- Eyesight or hearing issues
- Breathing difficulties
- Speech impediments
- Frequent seizures
- Bladder and bowel control issues
- Learning disabilities
- Unusual sensation or perception
Finally, an injury to multiple areas of the brain will likely cause a child to suffer from more than one type of CP.
Proving a Birth Injury Case in MD
A cerebral palsy birth injury will likely fall under the umbrella of a medical malpractice case. In Maryland, you can sue for cerebral palsy on behalf of your child against a healthcare provider.
To prove a birth injury malpractice case in Maryland, the suing party (plaintiff) can argue that a healthcare provider (defendant) committed negligence while delivering the child. A plaintiff may argue that healthcare professionals failed to diagnose a dangerous condition in time to react appropriately. For example, a ruptured uterus often occurs when a woman has undergone a cesarean section in previous childbirths. If a doctor does not recommend a cesarean section to avoid a high possibility of a ruptured uterus, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
If you wish to know more about cerebral palsy and filing a birth injury claim in Maryland, you should speak with an experienced Baltimore cerebral palsy injury lawyer.
Baltimore Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Attorneys Will Fight for Your Child
If your child was injured during delivery and developed cerebral palsy, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney today. Bennett & Heyman, P.A. is here to hold negligent doctors and OB-GYNs responsible for their actions. To schedule a free consultation for your birth injury case, call us at (410) 845-2385 or contact us online.