Cerebral Palsy and
Medical Malpractice

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Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice

In the U.S. right now, there are almost 800,000 people living with a form of cerebral palsy (CP) – that’s one in every 278 children who will be diagnosed with this condition. The effects of CP can be treated, but not cured, and come in many forms, from general lack of coordination to involuntary spasms and seizures.

There are also many possible causes of CP, some of which have to do with low birth weight, premature birth, maternal infections, and others. However, another common – and very disturbing – cause of CP is medical error. In fact, about 60 percent of all birth injury malpractice suits involve children with this condition.

How Are Medical Errors Related to Cerebral Palsy?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disruption of blood and oxygen supply to an infant’s brain puts the child at significant risk for CP. Specifically, an ischemic stroke (or blood vessel blockage caused by clotting in the brain that can lead to CP and further brain damage) can occur during or after birth. Additionally, birth hypoxia, or a disruption of oxygen supply to the developing brain, can happen during birth, which significantly increases the risk for CP in the infant. For both of these risk factors, doctors are usually able to monitor and detect them before they develop. If they happen anyway, this could mean that a physician, hospital staff member, or care facility engaged in negligent medical behavior.

Just one error by the doctor during childbirth can have effects that last a lifetime. Cerebral palsy can be caused by anything from failing to identify an airway obstruction to a uterine rupture. In any of these cases, such an injury is unacceptable, and requires intervention from an experienced Chicago birth injury attorney. When you are brought to a hospital for labor and delivery, you place your trust in your doctor to bring your child safely into this world; those who outright abuse or take that trust lightly should be held accountable for their actions.

The State of Medical Malpractice in the U.S.

Unfortunately, claims of medical malpractice in every form – not just birth injuries – are high across the nation. An oft-cited statistic from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes that medical malpractice and negligence is the third leading cause of death among Americans. In 2012 alone, there was over $3 billion spent on payouts across all medical malpractice claims – and the trend seems to be rising.

Given the cost, associated pain and suffering, and gravity of these mistakes, it’s easy to understand why they must be taken seriously. If you suspect that your child has experienced a birth injury due to medical carelessness, the next step is to immediately contact a Chicago cerebral palsy attorney. An expert attorney can help you seek compensation for economic and noneconomic damages, and can even help prevent future medical malpractice by the negligent physician or hospital by holding them responsible.

How a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Attorney Can Help

With the expertise and legal know-how of a Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer by your side, you can take a firm stand against medical malpractice that affects the lives of your sons and daughters. The consequences of CP are numerous and far-reaching: About 30 percent of those with the condition suffer from seizures as a result, and for the parent of a child with CP, basic care for your child can cost upward of $6 million.

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