Cerebral Palsy Is A Devastating Birth Injury

Cerebral palsy is a birth injury when the circumstances of a baby’s birth are such that the baby sustains damage during the birth process that later develops into cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition caused by damage to a brain that is not fully developed. The damage affects the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination.

The cause of the damage determines whether or not an attending health care professional or hospital is responsible for a baby’s resulting injuries. Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition that cannot be cured. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy means a lifetime of physical impairment and specialized care.

At The Weitz Law Firm, PLLC, our Philadelphia birth injury attorney knows that the only thing worse than learning your child has cerebral palsy is learning that it could have been prevented if the appropriate care had been given to your baby during birth.

Why Does Cerebral Palsy Occur During Birth?

Cerebral palsy occurs during birth due to some kind of trauma during the birthing process that causes damage to the baby’s brain. The two primary reasons a baby may experience brain damage during birth are:

  1. Lack of oxygen to the brain – Something interferes with the supply of blood to the baby’s brain. Without oxygen, a baby’s brain cells begin to die very quickly causing irreversible damage.
  2. Head injury – Devices doctors use to facilitate deliveries such as forceps or vacuum extractors can cause injuries to a baby’s head if not used properly.

When is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?

Except possibly in the most severe cases, cerebral palsy may not be diagnosed immediately. A baby will often be close to a year old before a diagnosis is made. However, there are some signs that may be noticeable during the first year of development that can indicate cerebral palsy.

  • Under 6 months – unusual stiffness, weakness or poor muscle control, jerking motions, seizures
  • 6-10 months – delayed development issues, favoring one side, strength and muscle control issues
  • Over 10 months – muscle and motion limitations more pronounced, dragging one side, drooling

The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy which causes debilitating muscle stiffness making it very difficult – and sometimes impossible – to move the affected parts of the body. Spastic cerebral palsy affects 80% of people with cerebral palsy.

How Cerebral Palsy Becomes Medical Malpractice

When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, parents often want to know how and when their child was injured and if they could have done anything to prevent it. This can begin a search for answers that may end up pointing to something that happened during the birthing process. If it appears that a child developed cerebral palsy as the result of an error on the part of the medical professionals involved, then a medical malpractice claim can be made.

The Philadelphia birth injury attorney at The Weitz Law Firm, LLC, understands compensation cannot change what happened but it can at least help to assure that your loved one will always have the care and support he or she needs to be able to live the best life possible. We will find out what happened, who is responsible and obtain the maximum recovery. Contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.



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