March 13, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Medical errors can lead to cerebral palsy
Article provided by Joseph Chaiken & Associates
Visit us at http://www.jchaikenlaw.com
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 303 children in America are born with cerebral palsy. Additionally, according to the United Cerebral Palsy Association, more than 500,000 Americans have the disorder. Although there are many causes, medical errors made before or during birth cause a significant number of cases.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect motor function. There are four types: spastic, ataxic, dyskinetic and mixed. Each type affects different motor abilities. Spastic cerebral palsy, by far the most common type, causes muscle stiffness, reduced ability to walk and involuntary muscle contractions. In addition to the pain this condition causes, it can cause several other disorders such as:
-Vision or hearing problems
-Inability to speak
-Loss of bladder or bowel control
The symptoms of the disorder first appear within three years following birth. Additionally, the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. For example, some people will be able speak normally, but are unable to walk. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, meaning that the symptoms remain stable and do not get better or worse over time. Currently, there is no cure.
What causes it?
Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development in the brain or damage to the brain. The brain damage that causes it can happen before, during or within a few years after birth. Brain damage that occurs before or during birth, which is called congenital cerebral palsy, makes up about 80 percent of cases.
Although cerebral palsy can be caused by gene mutations or infections, it can also be caused by medical malpractice occurring before or during the birth process. Some of the most common medical errors that can cause the disorder are:
-Mistakes using medical tools or equipment during delivery, such as forceps or vacuums
-Failure to monitor fetal heart rate during labor or delivery
-Failure to diagnose or treat infections that can cause cerebral palsy, such as meningitis
-Failure to recognize or respond to signs of fetal distress
-Failure or unnecessary delay in performing a caesarian section when it is medically necessary
-Failure to identify or treat conditions that cause a depravation of oxygen in the baby's brain such as a prolapsed umbilical cord.
What are my legal rights?
Pennsylvania law requires doctors and medical staff to exhibit a certain minimum standard of competence when carrying out their duties. If their actions fail to meet this minimum standard, the law considers those actions to be medical malpractice. If medical malpractice causes cerebral palsy to develop, those affected have the legal right to seek compensation to pay for their child's lifetime of care and to help overcome the life-long difficulties the child will face.
If your child has developed cerebral palsy as a result of a medical error, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can advise you of your legal options and protect your right to compensation.---
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