California Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
Our legal and medical team of experienced brain injury and cerebral palsy lawyers has successfully represented many patients and their families who have been injured or have died from complications arising during prenatal care, labor, delivery, or newborn care. When a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen, serious and oftentimes permanent injuries can result. Failing to timely perform a cesarean section, failing to perform a cesarean section when necessary, misuse of forceps or vacuum during delivery, or failing to recognize signs and symptoms that the baby is not receiving enough oxygen, as examples, can all contribute to serious brain injuries. Sadly, these serious injuries are often preventable, however negligent and incompetent actions or inactions by health care providers can cause devastating, life-long disabilities.
WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY?
Cerebral Palsy, also known as “CP” is a neurological condition caused by an injury to the brain affecting body movement and muscle coordination. The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it but it may not be diagnoses for months or years later. Common early signs of cerebral palsy include lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements; stiff or tight muscles; spasticity; muscle tone that is too tight or floppy; dragging one foot; and walking on the toes.
WHAT CAUSES CEREBRAL PALSY?
There are many different causes of Cerebral Palsy including premature birth, birthing trauma, and maternal infection. Among other causes, prolonged labor can result in a decrease in blood or oxygen flow to the baby and can lead to damage of the fetus’ brain tissue known as hypoxia or anoxia. A deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain can cause the baby’s brain to bleed.
A baby who experiences a difficult or prolonged labor and delivery may be at greater risk for cerebral palsy birth injury. A prolonged birthing process can cause oxygen to be cut off from the baby’s vital organs, including his or her brain. If the baby has suffered a loss of oxygen, the infant may appear limp, blue, and/or may not spontaneously breathe on his or her own. An apgar score is a clinical scale that medical professionals use to assess a baby’s condition after birth. The score takes into consideration the following: heart rate, respiratory effort, reflex irritability, muscle tone, and color. A score of 7 to 10 is considered to be in the normal range, whereas anything lower can increase the probability that the baby may have cerebral palsy.
HOW ARE BRAIN INJURIES, INCLUDING CEREBRAL PALSY TREATED?
Hypothermia treatments are used to cool the newborn’s brain and body temperature in an attempt to reduce swelling and brain damage.
Depending upon the severity of the brain injury or cerebral palsy, future treatment can include life-long care such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as the use of prescription drugs, along with other supportive treatments and therapies.
WHAT CAN I DO?
If your believe your child has suffered from a brain injury or cerebral palsy as a result of negligent medical care and treatment, call our firm and speak to one of our attorneys who are highly experienced in advising patients on brain injury cases. There is no cost to call and have your case evaluated by our highly specialized team of legal and medical professionals.
Please note that this page is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have an urgent medical issue, and suspect that a brain injury may play a role, please call a doctor or 911 immediately.