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Cerebral palsy developed due to medical malpractice

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

The birth of a child should be a moment of happiness and celebration. Unfortunately, for some families, this joyous occasion may be marred by the potentially devastating news that their child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). This condition, often resulting from birth injuries, can have long-term repercussions for the child and their family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in 345 children. Medical malpractice is a substantial factor leading to CP.

What is acquired cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development. It affects muscle tone, posture and a person’s ability to maintain balance. When CP is caused by medical malpractice, it often results from events during labor and delivery that deprive the baby’s brain of oxygen (hypoxia). Such events include:

  • Delayed C-sections
  • Mismanaged fetal distress
  • Improper use of birth-assisting tools

The impact on the child includes a spectrum of motor impairments, from mild to severe, affecting movement, coordination and sometimes intellectual capabilities. Preventing such outcomes involves adhering strictly to medical standards during childbirth, including:

  • Proper monitoring of fetal distress
  • Timely decision-making regarding C-sections
  • Attentive care during labor

When medical staff doesn’t meet these standards and negligence occurs, families have the right to seek legal recourse against the hospital and medical professionals responsible. In Ohio, for medical malpractice claims involving minors, the statute of limitations is one year from the date the malpractice is discovered.

However, parents must file a claim before the child turns 19. This legal timeframe necessitates prompt action to help protect the child and family’s rights. If the family wins their claim, it can offer compensation for emotional distress, ongoing care and future medical expenses.

If a parent suspects that medical negligence led to their child’s cerebral palsy, opting for legal guidance can help them to seek justice. A legal team can help gather evidence to build a strong case and hold the hospital and the medical staff accountable. This can also minimize such preventable tragedies, helping ensure safer birthing practices and better outcomes for all children.