Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common disabilities in children in New York and around the country. According to some experts, as many as 4 in 1,000 children have some degree of CP. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage. Sometimes, that’s due to a lack of oxygen during childbirth. Doctors and medical professionals also continue to investigate other causes.
The causes of cerebral palsy
There are two main types of cerebral palsy. One is congenital, meaning that the cause occurs during gestation or birth. Most cases of cerebral palsy fall under this classification. Congenital cerebral palsy can be caused by a detached placenta, low maternal blood pressure or trauma to the head during birth.
The other type is called acquired cerebral palsy where an injury or illness causes the condition more than a month after birth. Meningitis and trauma in a car accident are two examples of causes of acquired CP.
When malpractice occurs
Doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists generally do their best to deliver optimal care to patients. However, in some cases, medical professionals cause injuries. Problems administering epidurals during labor have been implicated in some cases of cerebral palsy. Epidurals are meant to be injected into the spine. If the anesthesia enters the bloodstream instead, it can impact the mother and baby adversely. For example, a seizure can be one side effect.
Families dealing with cerebral palsy may attribute the diagnosis to doctor negligence. Attorneys who have experience handling medical malpractice cases may help families investigate, get answers and seek recourse if there is malpractice involved. Individuals who have been subject to birth injuries may be able to hold the medical professional or hospital facility responsible.