For over forty years, Anapol Weiss has been helping victims who have been affected by traumatic birth injuries such as cerebral palsy. Our Philadelphia cerebral palsy injury lawyers have advanced knowledge of medicine and the accepted standards of care during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We are committed to helping families pursue compensation when doctors fail to abide by these standards, causing harm. Let our firm be your comprehensive resource for legal counsel and direction during this tough time. For a free consultation regarding your child’s cerebral palsy birth injury, call (866) 735-2792 or contact us online.
Birth injuries in Philadelphia can have a variety of ramifications, from brain damage to motor function impairment. The nature of the injury determines what symptoms an infant may experience. Cerebral palsy (CP) is an injury to the brain that can occur before, during, or shortly after birth. CP affects an infant’s movement and muscle tone. Typically, parents notice signs of CP in toddlers. Sadly, Cerebral palsy can result from medical malpractice during labor. Anapol Weiss’s mission is to hold negligent physicians responsible for cases of cerebral palsy.
Contact an Experienced Cerebral Palsy Attorney in Philadelphia
Proving that medical malpractice caused cerebral palsy is difficult, but not impossible, as long as you have the right resources. Determining the cause may take studying MRIs or CT scans, looking at the child’s medical history, conducting lab tests, and hiring an expert to testify. With the right team of lawyers, you improve your chances of securing compensation for a birth injury. At Anapol Weiss, it’s our mission to give children with cerebral palsy and other conditions from birth trauma the level of representation they deserve.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that results from a brain injury or malformation during the development of an infant’s brain. CP affects body movement, muscle coordination, muscle tone, motor skills, reflex, and balance. The extent of impairment varies from person to person. CP can affect different parts of the body with differing levels of severity. Individuals with CP may suffer muscle contraction or trembling limbs, as well as intellectual impairment or seizures. Hearing and visual impairments are also linked to Cerebral palsy.
Known causes of cerebral palsy include malformation of the brain or injury to the brain before, during, or immediately after birth while the brain is still developing. CP is a common disorder, affecting about 10,000 of children born each year. There is currently no cure for CP. If your child has Cerebral palsy, you may be facing long-term care and a life of medical bills. If professional negligence played a part in your child’s condition, seek help from an attorney. You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and more.
CP and Medical Malpractice
During pregnancy and delivery, it is a physician’s duty to pay careful attention to the vital signs of both mother and baby. While not all brain malformations are preventable, in many cases, they are. If a physician provides inadequate or incompetent care during labor and delivery, it can impact brain function and development. Cerebral palsy can result from injuries such as:
- Genetic and environmental factors disturbing brain cell migration or the movement of cells into the proper location during brain development.
- Poor insulation of nerve cell fibers as they develop. An inadequate protective covering on nerve cells can impede brain function.
- Brain cell death during the birthing process. Events during delivery can rupture blood vessels or cut off oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in brain cell death.
- Trauma, infections, or lack of oxygen to the brain can damage the synapses (connections) between brain cells.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are four types of cerebral palsy and they are grouped according to the number of limbs affected.
- Mixed cerebral palsy – a combination of the 3 types of CP listed below
- Ataxic cerebral palsy – involves problems with balance and coordination when walking, reaching or writing.
- Spastic cerebral palsy – the most common form of cerebral palsy and accounts for 80 percent of those with the condition; this type is identified by still muscles that cause difficulty moving.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy
There are many instances throughout the birthing process in which something can go wrong and cause CP. It is up to a physician to detect these issues and take swift action to prevent brain damage and other harms. Failure to do so, resulting in a birth injury, is cause for a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit.
Signs of cerebral palsy primarily involve a delay reaching movement milestones such as rolling over or walking.
When is a Child’s Cerebral Palsy a Malpractice Issue?
Not every case of cerebral palsy involves malpractice. However, medical negligence can cause a newborn to suffer from the following conditions that may lead to cerebral palsy:
- Anoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain
- Hypoxia, or reduced supply of oxygen to the brain
- Head trauma
These medical emergencies may occur as a result of:
- Failure to properly monitor a baby’s fetal heart rate
- Umbilical cord problems that went untreated
- Failure to perform a medically necessary Caesarian section
- Failure to detect and treat infections in the mother during pregnancy
- Other medical mistakes
Statistics on CP Negligence
Certain risk factors make a baby more likely to develop cerebral palsy. These risk factors include premature babies or babies with low birth weights, multiple births such as twins, and complications during labor including breech births.
In about 10 to 15 percent of cases, however, cerebral palsy results from a birth injury caused by negligence. Below are three factors related to medical negligence that can lead to this type of lifelong injury.
- Cerebral palsy can develop as a result of undiagnosed or untreated infections in the mother during pregnancy. Infections like toxoplasmosis, rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes can all increase a baby’s risk of cerebral palsy. Mothers can protect themselves against some of these infections, such as rubella, through vaccination before pregnancy. Be aware of your health throughout your pregnancy, and make sure that your doctor is monitoring any suspicious infections.
- A mother and her baby can have different blood types. A condition called Rh incompatibility means that the mother’s Rh blood type (either positive or negative) is different from that of her baby. This condition can cause brain damage and severe jaundice, one of the major risk factors for cerebral palsy. This disorder can usually be prevented with injections of Rh immune globulin both during pregnancy and after birth. Expectant mothers should be aware of these risks and discuss them with a doctor.
- Restricted oxygen to the infant’s brain during labor or birth can lead to cerebral palsy. Asphyxia, a condition in which the brain does not receive oxygen, can have dangerous ramifications. Several types of birth injuries cause asphyxia, including umbilical cord problems, hemorrhaging, prolonged delivery, and maternal shock. An estimated 6 to 8 percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused by birth asphyxia
The vast majority of medical care professionals work attentively to be sure that all risks are minimized. However, doctors sometimes make mistakes or commit negligence that can lead to a lifetime of problems for babies with cerebral palsy and their families.
Choosing to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit With Anapol Weiss
It may be difficult for parents to see beyond the immediate needs of a baby with cerebral palsy, but there are many factors to consider. Their child will likely need future treatment, therapy and other long-term care and possibly medical equipment. In addition to obtaining compensation for these future needs, a cerebral palsy lawsuit holds hospital staff accountable for the harm they caused. It can also stop a similar situation from happening to another family.
The first step is to contact an experienced Philadelphia cerebral palsy lawyer at Anapol Weiss to discuss the events leading to the child’s birth and injuries. Our lawyers and legal team can then investigate important details about what happened and determine whether negligence is to blame. Victims who have grounds for a cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuit can then move forward with seeking compensation and justice.
The attorneys at Anapol Weiss have decades of success advocating for children who were permanently harmed during birth. If your baby was injured during birth, we can help.