Sometimes a baby is born with a serious and debilitating injury that doesn't heal or get better. Babies who are born with birth injuries may require special and costly medical care and other services throughout their lives. In some cases, these special needs children may never be able to live fully independent lives.
Due to the seriousness of many birth injury conditions, parents will usually want to know how and why the injury occurred. Take cerebral palsy, for example. This neurological disorder can permanently affect a baby's muscle coordination leaving a person disabled for his or her entire life.
How does cerebral palsy happen?
Cerebral palsy is – in many cases – preventable. In other cases, it happens in a way that there is nothing a parent or doctor can do. Because it's often preventable, however, it's important that parents of children with cerebral palsy investigate to determine if doctors' negligence or medical malpractice caused the condition.
Here are some important points about how cerebral palsy occurs:
- Cerebral palsy is caused by reduced or inhibited oxygen supply to the baby's brain. This can happen under a wide variety of circumstances – some of them preventable and some of them impossible to prevent.
- An obstructed delivery, in which the baby gets trapped for too long in the birth canal could result in reduced oxygen supply and cerebral palsy.
- Anesthesia errors that cause the mother to be over-sedated during birth could cause cerebral palsy.
- Improper use of forceps during delivery could result in this condition.
- A vacuum extractor used in the wrong way could cause cerebral palsy.
- Given birth to twins or triplets puts the babies under a higher risk of cerebral palsy and other birth complications.
- A mother aged 35 years or older is at an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with this condition.
- Placental complications during pregnancy can cause cerebral palsy.
Doctors must be on alert at all times
In many situations, doctors can detect and successfully resolve the above-listed causes of cerebral palsy before a permanent birth injury happens. However, not in all cases. As such, doctors must examine every case of cerebral palsy closely to determine whether a doctor's error, negligence or malpractice was the cause.