Doctors and Hospitals Should Take Precautions to Prevent Cerebral Palsy

April 7, 2017 | Crandall & Pera Law
Doctors and Hospitals Should Take Precautions to Prevent Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a medical condition caused by brain damage that can forever alter the life of a newborn. “Cerebral” refers to the brain. “Palsy” refers to motor impairment. CP can range from mild to severe depending on the amount of damage to the brain.

If brain damage was caused during birth, and the medical professionals involved failed to take reasonable precautionary steps, these health providers can be held accountable for the lifetime of physical harm and emotional distress that this devastating condition causes. Our lawyers work with trained obstetricians and other doctors to determine what preventive measures should have been taken.

CP can result from untreated fetal distress, compression of the umbilical cord, the newborn being unable to comfortably pass through the birth canal, lack of oxygen to the brain, infection, and a shearing of the placenta. These problems should be anticipated and corrected by the birthing team to prevent any brain damage from occurring. Newborns and mothers should be constantly monitored before, during, and after the birth. Sometimes, a Caesarian section (C-section) is the best option to prevent complications.

Cerebral Palsy complications

According to Cerebral Palsy Source, the problems individuals with CP experience depend on what part of their brain was damaged. The following difficulties are common:

  • Spasticity or tightness of the muscles

  • Difficulty walking

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Involuntary movements

  • Speech, hearing, and visual problems

  • Seizures

  • Cognitive issues and learning disabilities

CP patients also may have problems with going to the bathroom, with breathing, and with their posture. Many also have disorders of the skin and pressure sores because of immobility issues.

Each year, there are about ¾ of a million children and adults who exhibit some form of CP. Close to 8,000 newborns are born with cerebral palsy. Many of these cases are due to birth injury malpractice.

The three main types of CP are:

  • Spastic CP. In this type of cerebral palsy, the muscle tissues are tight, causing problems with mobility.

  • Athetoid CP. This is also a movement disorder but, with this condition, movements and tics can’t be controlled.

  • Ataxic People with this form of CP have balance and depth problems.

Mixed CP is a fourth classification reserved for children and adults who have some combination of the three main types.

Sadly, CP is not curable. There are treatments that can help, including physical therapy, wheelchairs, computer assistance, and medications.

United Cerebral Palsy Associations in Ohio

Three Ohio associations that help children and adults who are diagnosed with CP and their families are:

  • UCP of Central Ohio, 440 Industrial Mile Road, Columbus, OH 43228-2411, Phone: (614) 279-0109

  • UCP of Greater Cincinnati, 3601 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45229, Phone: (513) 221-4606

  • UCP of Greater Cleveland, 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, Phone: (216) 791-8363

There are other associations that can provide education and support throughout Ohio.

Our Ohio birth injury malpractice attorneys understand just how devastating a cerebral palsy diagnosis is for the child and the parents. Medical professionals who do not take reasonable precautions to prevent the complications that result in CP must be held accountable. To speak to one our strong advocates today, please call the Ohio Crandall & Pera Law office at 877-686-8879 or complete our contact form. We’re ready to help you get justice.