Cerebral palsy (CP) can be caused during pregnancy, during childbirth, or after delivery. Signs and symptoms may not be apparent for months or even years after a child is born. Trauma is sometimes involved, but in most cases CP is the result of inadequate oxygen to the brain.
What happens in the first few minutes, hours, and days after a child is born can change that baby’s life forever. For most, all goes well, but it is not terribly uncommon for a problem to develop. A problem which, if recognized and treated right away will not impact the child later in life, but if left unattended can cause permanent injury or death. Post-delivery causes of CP can include:
- Failure to recognize respiratory distress
- Failure to provide oxygen when needed
- Untreated pneumonia
- Untreated brain infection
- Untreated jaundice
- Untreated seizures
- Malfunctioning or improperly applied respiratory support
- Improperly delivered nutritional support
- Excessive haste and force
- Dropped baby
Premature babies have an elevated risk of complications which can cause brain injuries and CP. Complications of prematurity which, if not treated quickly, can lead to CP include:
- Heart problems
- Blood pressure problems
- Circulation problems
- Respiratory distress
- Meconium aspiration
Doctors and other medical staff have a responsibility to immediately evaluate your baby’s health after delivery, and to monitor your baby for distress, including respiratory distress. Proper monitoring and taking swift and appropriate action if there is any sign of a problem can prevent your child from developing a brain injury and CP.
If you believe that your child has developed cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, contact an experienced birth injury attorney today.