Leeseberg & Valentine

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Could your child's cerebral palsy be from medical malpractice?

During pregnancy, you were probably like most Ohio parents in that you expected to take home a happy and healthy baby. Somewhere along the way, however, you began to notice that something just was not right, and your pediatrician diagnosed your child with cerebral palsy.

Sadly, no cure exists for this medical condition. Furthermore, a variety of symptoms could be attributed to cerebral palsy, but there are some commonalities among those who suffer from this disability:

  • Spastic movements
  • Lack of muscular control
  • Slow, writhing or abnormal movements out of the child's control
  • Stiff or floppy muscle development

Your child might never experience a normal life, and you might wonder if your obstetrician or a member of the hospital staff made a mistake that took that chance from your child.

What does the research say about what causes cerebral palsy?

Unfortunately, no definitive cause exists, and doctors and scientists differ in their opinions. Some say that an infection during pregnancy inhibits the development of a child's brain. Others say that injuries during or shortly after birth, such as those below cause the disability.

  • Being dropped
  • Being forcibly pulled from the birth canal
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Being injured by tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps
  • Labor lasting more than 18 hours (especially in multiple-baby births)

Injuries resulting from one or more of these instances could be medical malpractice depending on the circumstances, including the failure to diagnose a prenatal infection.

How do I know if a medical mistake caused my child's condition?

Your attorney will more than likely enlist the help of medical experts to make that determination. A review of your medical records during your pregnancy and through the birth could reveal a mistake in either your prenatal or neonatal care that led to your child's cerebral palsy.

If an error is found, your attorney could recommend a medical malpractice claim in an attempt to obtain the compensation you need to provide the appropriate medical and other care your child needs now and in the future.

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