What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain. “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “Palsy” to a disorder of movement or posture. If someone has Cerebral Palsy it means that because of an injury to their brain (cerebral) they are not able to use some of the muscles in their body in the normal way (palsy). Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat or play in the same ways as most other children.
What is Cerebral Palsy Malpractice?
In some cases, Cerebral Palsy is caused by events which occur shortly before, during and after birth. In many cases, the birth injury is medically preventable. Preventable brain injury causing Cerebral Palsy can happen in many ways including:
- Failure to treat or prevent infection in mother or baby during pregnancy, labor or delivery
- Failure to consider, recommend or offer Cesarean Section in a timely manner
- Failure to timely respond to fetal distress
- Failure to timely respond to signs of a lack of oxygen to a baby
- Failure to timely respond to abnormalities on fetal heart monitor strips
- Improper use of forceps
- Improper use of vacuum extraction
- Failure to timely respond to severe jaundice
- Failure to properly treat kidney and urinary tract infections in the mother
- Failure to respond to Rh incompatibility
- Toxicity from inappropriate medications during pregnancy
Symptoms and effects of Cerebral Palsy
Some of the common results of cerebral palsy include:
- Impaired speech
- Learning disabilities
- Visual impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty eating
- Limited motor skills
Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
Early detection of Cerebral Palsy will increase a baby’s chance of achieving a better recovery. Depending on the types and severity of impairment a child experiences he or she may require:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Psychological treatment
- Medications to prevent seizures
- Full time in-home care or institutionalization
What to Do After Cerebral Palsy Malpractice
If you suspect that your child may have Cerebral Palsy, proper and timely treatment will maximize the chances that your child will survive with as little damage as possible under the circumstances. Unfortunately, many children will nevertheless require a lifetime of expensive medical care. Many will need to be followed by several different types of pediatric specialists and participate in ongoing physical and occupational therapy.
In some cases, care at home is beyond the best capabilities of caring parents and placement in a specialized institution becomes the only viable option.
It is in your child’s interest to be in a position to benefit from the very best and most advanced treatment available. There may be a significant difference in the treatment and services that private medical insurance or such programs as Medicaid will cover, and the most desirable state of the art treatment.
If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury, getting the compensation that you deserve may be the only way to provide the care and services needed to maximize your child’s recovery and potential.
Collectively, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers Michael L. Weiss, Esq. and Robert E. Paarz, Esq. have presented over 40 medical malpractice cases involving a Cerebral Palsy injury to juries, having helped many families obtain the financial assistance needed to lessen or eliminate the financial burden caused by Cerebral Palsy. They are committed to using their knowledge and experience to help the victims of preventable birth injuries obtain fair compensation.
If you believe your child may have experienced such an injury, contact Weiss & Paarz, P.C. today.