Cerebral palsy (CP) is usually caused by lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain (asphyxia). During delivery, many circumstances can lead to asphyxia. The baby will show signs of fetal distress when this happens. When doctors and other medical staff fail to recognize and respond to fetal distress, asphyxia can last long enough to cause injury to the baby’s brain, leading to CP.
During childbirth both the mother and the fetus are monitored. If the baby’s heart rate changes, it is a sign of distress. Doctors must act quickly, when this happens, to prevent injury. Causes of CP during child birth include:
- Failure to properly monitor fetus
- Failure to properly monitor the mother
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Delayed c-section
- Inappropriate use of forceps
- Umbilical cord strangulation
- Baby stuck in birth canal
- Placenta prematurely sheared
- Fetal stroke
- Administration of inappropriate or wrongly dosed medications, including those used to induce labor
Who is responsible?
CP is almost always the result of medical negligence either during pregnancy, during delivery, or shortly after birth. Depending on the unique circumstances of your child’s birth, there can be multiple responsible parties including:
- Emergency room staff
- Other hospital staff involved in delivery
- The hospital itself
- Pharmaceutical companies
Determining when and how your child developed CP is an important part of determining who is responsible for your child’s injury. Determining who is responsible is critical to obtaining the compensation which you will need to pay for the special care that your child needs.
If you believe that your child has developed cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, contact an experienced birth injury attorney today.