Each year, approximately 10,000 babies across the nation, including some in Texas, will be born with cerebral palsy. While sometimes this type of birth injury takes place after the child is born, sometimes it takes place before the child is born or during the birthing process. In fact, around 20% of those with cerebral palsy suffered the injury that lead to the condition during the birth process.
Sometimes, the cause of cerebral palsy is due to the negligence of medical professionals. For example, during the birth process, the mother’s medical team may fail to inform the physician that the infant is in distress, which ultimately delays treatment. For instance, if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the infant’s neck during the labor process, causing the child to suffer a lack of oxygen, this could lead to cerebral palsy if the situation is not immediately addressed. Or, a mother could come down with an infection that goes undiagnosed and is ultimately passed down to the infant before birth, leading to cerebral palsy.
The improper use of medical instruments during the birth process could also injure the child, causing the child to develop cerebral palsy. Also, children born with severe jaundice that is not properly treated could go on to develop cerebral palsy. A delayed birth could also cause cerebral palsy.
Ultimately, while some causes of cerebral palsy are not preventable, many are preventable if the medical professionals involved uphold their duty of care. If a medical professional’s actions or inactions deviate from the generally acceptable standards of the care, it may be the case that the medical professional is liable for the injury the negligence caused. In such situations, those harmed by the physician’s negligence could pursue a medical malpractice claim.