Is Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis A Result Of Medical Malpractice?

March 7, 2018 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
Is Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis A Result Of Medical Malpractice?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that impairs motor functions, including muscle coordination, oral motor functioning, fine motor skills and body movement. CP is caused by brain damage that occurs while the baby’s brain is still developing before birth, during the birthing process or immediately after birth. Brain damage resulting in CP can be caused by medical malpractice on the part of medical professionals who provide treatment during pregnancy or the birthing process. Below are seven examples of medical malpractice that often result in a baby being diagnosed with CP. The dedicated Cincinnati birth injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acianni & Levy may be able to help you pursue compensation if your child's cerebral palsy diagnosis was caused by negligence. Schedule a free legal consultation today.

Lack Of Adequate Information During The Pregnancy

Many pregnant women undergo several prenatal tests, including ultrasounds, blood tests or an amniocentesis. The purpose of these tests is to determine if the child has any genetic or congenital defects, like CP. If doctors do not conduct these tests or misinterpret the results, and the parents are not told about their child's genetic defect, doctors could be found liable for medical malpractice. This is because medical professionals are legally obligated to provide prompt disclosure to parents about problems with the fetus. This way parents have sufficient time to determine if they want to continue the pregnancy.

Improper Treatment Of Maternal Infections Or Illness

The mother’s health directly impacts the health of the baby. If the mother develops an infection, the baby could suffer brain damage or injury to other organs. It is important that a mother receives prompt diagnosis and medical treatment for any medical problems. If a health care professional fails to test for common illnesses when the mother shows symptoms, promptly diagnose or treat maternal infections, or test a baby after birth if an infection is suspected, the health care professional could be liable for damages.

Diagnostic Mistakes

Health care providers receive extensive education about symptoms of medical problems so they can correctly diagnose these issues. When a health care provider delays or fails to properly diagnose a patient, birth injuries may result and the family may have a medical malpractice case. Common diagnostic mistakes that may indicate medical malpractice include:
  • Failing to conduct tests that would have revealed problems with the mother or fetus
  • Failing to promptly refer the mother to a qualified specialist
  • Failing to correctly interpret test results
  • Failing to notice symptoms of fetal distress

Medication Errors

Pregnant women may have to be prescribed medication for varying issues. Health care providers must take great care in prescribing medication because it could cause health problems for the mother or baby. Common medication errors include:
  • Prescribing medication that causes an adverse reaction in the mother or baby
  • Providing an improper dosage of medication
  • Incorrectly filling a prescription at the pharmacy
  • Inadequately monitoring the mother or child for reactions to medication

Administrative Errors

These include failing to record relevant medical information, failing to inform patients of alternative treatment options or improperly maintaining equipment. These types of problems often arise when hospitals or other medical establishments fail to have proper protocols. In these cases, the hospitals could be liable for medical malpractice. Doctors must provide patients with the necessary information so they can make informed decisions about their care. For example, medical providers must provide you with all relevant information about a particular medical treatment that they are recommending, including the known side effects. They should also inform you of any alternative treatment options and their benefits and risks.

Delivery Room Mistakes

Many cases of CP are caused by brain damage that occurs during the birth process. One common mistake made during this process is not taking action to prevent the baby from losing oxygen. Health care providers may fail to realize that the baby is in distress and take too long to correct it. There are also situations where health care providers misuse tools to help with the delivery, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor. When this happens, and the child develops CP, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice. If your baby was diagnosed with CP because of the doctor's action or lack of action, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. These cases can be quite complex, requiring the assistance of a skilled Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer who can help establish how a negligent health care provider's actions caused CP. Our attorneys have a successful track record of obtaining fair compensation for medical expenses and other damages suffered by victims of negligence. We can discuss your legal options during a confidential, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover compensation.