Medical Negligence
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

Birth Injuries – Cerebral Palsy

In the unfortunate event that infant is born with cerebral palsy, it could have been caused by two factors:

  1. Incidents that naturally occurred during pregnancy.

  2. By avoidable medical mistakes made by the physician or other medical staff present during labour and delivery.

Cerebral palsy is the most common neurological disorder in children. It affects muscle movement and control, muscle tone and stiffness, and posture. It can be either congenital, meaning that a baby can be born with the disorder, or acquired, meaning that the disorder happened after birth due to a brain injury.

People with cerebral palsy may have vision impairments, difficulties swallowing, epilepsy, an inability to walk, a limited range of movement, or intellectual disabilities. These symptoms vary, however, as there is a range in the disorder’s severity.

Cerebral palsy is typically diagnosable by age two or age three, when the child is expected to hit certain developmental milestones. While it is not a progressive disorder, it cannot be cured.

Cerebral palsy is categorised into two types: spastic and non-spastic. In some instances however, a child will not fall into either category. The severity is classified on a scale of mild, moderate, and severe: 

  • Mild: The child has the ability to move on their own without assistance and experiences no disruptions to normal daily activities.

  • Moderate: The child will require the use of braces and medication with some assistance for normal daily activities.

  • Severe: The child will require lifelong use of a wheelchair and will need assistance for all normal daily activities.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or another healthcare professional cause preventable harm to a patient by failing to provide an accepted standard of care. Incidents in which negligence may have caused CP include but are not limited to:

  • A doctor failing to detect and treat infant hypoxia, jaundice or infection, leading to brain damage;

  • Failure to identify a partial or total placental abruption;

  • Failure to identify fetal distress;

  • Delay or failure to perform a cesarean section when necessary, such as fetal distress;

  • Failure to identify a ruptured membrane;

  • Failure to identify umbilical cord complications;

  • Failure to identify if a mother has been in pre-term birth;

  • Improper use of tools to assist in the birthing process such as such as forceps or vacuum extraction;

Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong developmental disorder that requires long-term care and treatment. As well as the profound emotional and physical impact such injuries have upon the child and family responsible for their care, the cost of caring for that child are significant. These costs are based on an array of direct and indirect expenses to include educational needs, medical treatment, rehabilitation, special equipment as well as home modifications and assistive devices.

Medical negligence cases can be complex especially when dealing with birth related injuries such as Cerebral Palsy. At P.A.Duffy & Company Solicitors we have extensive experience in the investigation, prosecution and conclusion of these difficult, complex and high value cases.

If you or your family have been affected by sub-standard medical care causing cerebral palsy, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors can help you pursue a claim for compensation.

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