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Medical Malpractice And Cerebral Palsy

During pregnancy, parents thoughts are filled with excitement and anticipation to meet their new baby imagining all of the possibilities for what their child might grow up be. These hopes, dreams and joy can be destroyed by a childbirth injury that may rob a child of a future filled with potential.

The medical malpractice team at Dillon Findley & Simonian, P.C., have over 30 years of experience in Alaska courts involving cases with Cerebral Palsy and birth injuries. Alaska is unique. It is important to have lawyers in Alaska with experience successfully litigating birth injury cases in Alaskan courts and health care communities. Our birth injuries attorneys are from Alaska and know the doctors, hospitals, lawyers and judges who will be involved in any case. We have built a reputation of success through hard work and dedication to families dealing with birth injuries.

The best birth injury lawyer is a diligent and meticulous investigator working hard to find out what happened. Our experienced team brings dedication and tenacity to birth injury cases. We retain the best expert physicians and health care professionals from around the country to ensure all the facts are unearthed and properly evaluated. We will connect you with professionals who will help you better understand the condition your child is facing, and work hard for recoveries that will help you get the services your child needs. If your child has experienced a traumatic birth, developmental delays or a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological condition and movement disorder. It is caused by damage to areas of the brain that control muscle tone and movement, even though the muscles are not damaged. Impairment from cerebral palsy vary in form and severity, so there is no single sign or symptom to inform the diagnosis. There is no cure for cerebral palsy; it is a permanent disability. Cerebral palsy can be cause by genetic or metabolic conditions and severe prematurity, but it can also be caused by preventable errors.

Cerebral Palsy and Medical Errors

Medical errors that cause a baby to suffer from lack of oxygen (hypoxia), bleeding, or head trauma can cause Cerebral Palsy. Some specific medical errors that may cause cerebral palsy include

  • Failure to properly monitor the baby with concerning fetal heart tracings
  • Failure to monitor the mother for blood pressure problems or bleeding (preeclampsia, uterine rupture, placenta previa, placenta arbruption)
  • Failing to recognize the danger of hyperstimulation or strong contractions from Pitocin (Oxytocin) or Misoprostol (Cytotec)
  • Failure to detect a prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord
  • Failure to diagnose and treat infections in the mother during pregnancy and delivery
  • Failure to perform a necessary cesarean section
  • Head trauma to the baby from negligent use of delivery instruments
  • Failure to appropriately resuscitate a baby born with respiratory distress or low Apgar scores

These errors can lead to depriving the baby’s brain of needed oxygen leading to brain bleeds (intracranial hemorrhages), swelling (cerebral edema), or a diagnoses of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

How is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?

There is no test that confirms cerebral palsy. The diagnosis is based on signs and symptoms, which can vary from mild to severe. These can include

  • Abnormal muscle tone – too floppy or too rigid
  • Abnormal muscle movements
  • Lack of muscle coordination impacting ability to hold up head, roll over, crawl, walk, write or button a shirt
  • Developmental delays – controlling head, sitting up, crawling and walking, speech, etc.
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech problems
  • Seizures
  • Hearing and vision problems

There are different classifications of cerebral palsy including spastic, ataxic athetoid and mixed. Certain injuries in newborns allow for an immediate diagnosis of cerebral palsy like hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (birth asphyxia) or intracranial hemorrhages. But sometimes a diagnosis can occur later when parents notice their child is missing important developmental milestones. Physicians often postpone diagnosing cerebral palsy to evaluate the child’s impairments, or it is missed because the signs develop with the baby’s nervous system and are not always immediately obvious. Even in cases of severe brain damage, signs are not immediately obvious and require MRI imaging and EEG monitoring.

Call Today For A Free Consultation With A Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your loved one has cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or suffers from developmental delays that you believe may be caused by medical errors, please reach out to the medical malpractice team at Dillon Findley & Simonian, P.C. We offer free case evaluations and consultation. We advance all costs of litigation including investigating and potential claim. We do not charge attorney fees unless we take your case and successfully resolve the case for you. Contact our office today by sending us an email through our website form, or by calling our office at 907-519-0668. We look forward to answering your questions and hearing more about your case.