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When Is Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Every year, 8,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an incurable condition caused by damage to the brain. As San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, we know how devastating a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be, particularly if the underlying brain injury could have been prevented.

Although the specific origins of brain injuries are often difficult to pinpoint, many things that occur before, during, or immediately after birth can increase the risks for cerebral palsy. In cases where the brain injuries could have been prevented or were caused by the actions of a doctor or other medical professional, children may have a case for medical malpractice.

There are a number of factors that can increase the risk that a child will suffer from cerebral palsy. Many of factors arise if the attending physician does not pay sufficient attention during delivery. Still others can result from mistakes in the delivery room.

Below are a few common risk factors for cerebral palsy:

  • Birth injury caused my misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors
  • Birth injury caused by Group-B Strep Infections
  • Failure to recognize or react to problems with the placenta or umbilical cord
  • Improper use of birth-assisting drugs such as Pitocin
  • Failure to assign qualified medical professionals to deliveries that are expected to be difficult
  • Slow or inadequate response to birth complications
  • Failure to recommend a caesarean when risk factors occur

Although there are therapy programs that can help children cope with cerebral palsy, they are often difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Fortunately, families are able to recover damages from those responsible for the child’s condition.