Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury 

cerebral palsy birth injury

What Is Cerebral Palsy? What to do if you need a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer.

A newborn brain injury is one of the most devastating birth injuries. It is brutally unfair to learn that the cerebral palsy injury could have been prevented and, along with it, a child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy birth injury is a lifelong condition that affects parts of the brain responsible for muscle function. A neurological problem, cerebral palsy typically stems from complications early on in life, whether during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. Damage to a child’s developing brain is irreversible.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Brain damage can occur for a variety of reasons and cause a range of life-changing side effects. Causes of cerebral palsy can include:

  • Fetal or maternal distress, such as lack of oxygen during birth, which goes unaddressed during delivery because of poor monitoring of mother’s and baby’s vitals.
  • Failure to do a caesarean section quickly enough, or poorly done c-section, causing oxygen deprivation.
  • Failure of a medical practitioner to identify a prolapsed umbilical cord.
  • Improper use of forceps, vacuum extraction, or other delivery instruments.
  • Excessive force or pressure on the baby’s head or neck during delivery.
  • Complications in the womb, like infection or lack of oxygen to the brain, that have gone unnoticed or undiagnosed before delivery.

Birth is supposed to be a time of great joy and happiness. Unfortunately, this is far from the reality for some families. It is easy to take for granted that you are receiving proper medical care while carrying a child and trust that you will have top-quality care during the delivery of a child. Unfortunately, medical negligence during pregnancy or around the time of birth can and does occur.

Inexperience, distraction, exhaustion, and poor equipment could all be part of the reason doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners are negligent in properly tending to an infant. Ultimately, if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy birth injury, it could very well be due to human error and negligence. In these cases, a medical malpractice case is warranted.

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not diagnosed immediately at birth, though the most severe cases can usually be diagnosed shortly after birth. Physical symptoms usually appear as the child develops, and can include:

  • Delayed developmental milestones, such as sitting, standing, crawling, or walking.
  • Delayed growth in height and weight.
  • Reflexes that are abnormal, poor, or overactive.
  • Abnormal movement or poor coordination and motor functions.
  • Abnormal posture.
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Inadequate or decreased muscle tone.
  • Tremors or seizures.
  • Difficulty speaking.

Certainly, every child is different, and fitting into any of these categories does not indicate that cerebral palsy is indeed present. Pediatricians monitor a child’s growth based on their own unique body makeup, but also in accordance with a basic growth chart. Some of these issues may be temporary. Some may very well be signs of cerebral palsy.

Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not diagnosed immediately at birth. Typically, the condition is diagnosed within the first two years of a child’s life. There is not one test that a child can be given to confirm cerebral palsy. In fact, it can take some time to make a definitive diagnosis.

Your child will need to be observed repeatedly, especially if only mild symptoms of cerebral palsy are present. Cerebral palsy is a serious diagnosis, and other conditions have similar symptoms, like degenerative nervous disorders, muscle diseases, nervous system tumors, and metabolism disorders.

In some cases, a positive cerebral palsy birth injury diagnosis cannot be made until a child is 3 to 5 years old. A combination of factors, gathered and evaluated over time, will help a doctor come to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. These factors can include a review and assessment of:

  • Physical examinations.
  • Growth and developmental records.
  • Newborn screens conducted at birth.
  • APGAR score.
  • Pregnancy records.
  • Labor and delivery records.
  • Lab test results, like bloodwork and urinalysis.
  • Mobility, speech, reflexes, and coordination.
  • Hearing, vision, cognition, digestion, and more.
  • Neurological tests and analyses.
  • Genetic markers.
  • Paternal health.

Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy – Now What?

There is no cure for cerebral palsy. Up until this point, you may have believed that your child’s condition or developmental delays were merely temporary. Once you receive the final diagnosis, CP is your reality and your child’s reality, and it is life-altering.

Certain treatments for cerebral palsy can help improve muscle function and minimize the impact of the symptoms, but the most severe cases of cerebral palsy will require around-the-clock care and regular visits to doctors, speech therapists, and physical therapists, as well as the purchase of wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers. The financial burden you will have because of a cerebral palsy diagnosis is enormous. The painful part is knowing that the diagnosis could have been avoided with proper, careful medical care.

A medical malpractice case is the right choice for many families who have a child with cerebral palsy. If you believe that negligence or carelessness may be the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy birth injury,  call Thurswell Law today for a free consultation. We are an experienced family of attorneys who can offer you the best chance at receiving full monetary compensation. We don’t charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your free consultation.



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