Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the incidence of cerebral palsy is 3.3 children per 1,000 live births.
The causes vary and may include:
- Improper care during labor and delivery.
- Improper response to fetal distress.
- Injury due to prolonged lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery.
When this occurs, it can often be seen as an abnormal fetal heart pattern on the fetal monitor. Failure by the doctor, midwife or nurse to recognize this abnormality, and promptly intervene, can lead to prolonged oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain, and resulting brain injury.
- When improperly used, delivery instruments such as forceps and vacuums can result in bleeding into the brain or skull fracture.
- Other types of medical negligence during pregnancy and delivery.
Did this situation happen to you?
During labor and delivery, the mother is usually placed on a fetal monitor. This device monitors and records the baby’s heartbeat. If the baby suffers from a lack of oxygen, then there will be signs of this distress in the baby’s heart tracing. Doctors, midwives, and nurses are trained to know what measures are necessary in order to relieve the distress. If these measures do not work to correct the lack of oxygen and relieve the distress, then immediate delivery of the baby is necessary to prevent brain injury.
If there is a significant delay in recognizing the distress, taking the appropriate measures to relieve the distress, and or in delivery of the baby, then a prolonged lack of oxygen can result in an injury to the baby’s brain.
If you believe your child has cerebral palsy that may have been caused by negligent medical care, we may be able to help. Cerebral palsy causes can often be linked back to medical negligence. Our team of Registered Nurse Case Managers can review the care you received and help answer questions.