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How can medical malpractice cause cerebral palsy to an infant?

If a doctor whom a pregnant woman put her trust in fails to provide sufficient medical care, the health of both the mother and child could suffer. There are many types of birth injuries; among the most common results of medical negligence during pregnancy or delivery is cerebral palsy.

The National Institutes of Health reports that cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that usually appears in infancy or early in childhood. It affects the ability to move the body, along with muscle coordination.

Brain damage is a common cause of cerebral palsy, such as when the baby is deprived of oxygen during delivery. Sometimes, the infant’s oxygen is cut off due to unavoidable medical complications. Other times, the doctor or other member of the medical team misses signs of fetal distress, and allows the child to suffer brain damage, when a sufficient level of attention could have avoided it.

Possible signs that a child has cerebral palsy include:

  • Stiff or tight muscles with exaggerated reflexes
  • Lack of coordination when doing voluntary movements
  • Dragging one leg or walking with one foot only
  • Unusual gait
  • Stiff or floppy muscle tone

The severity of cerebral palsy can range from mild disability to needing extensive care for life. There is no cure, though treatment can help with movement and speech, and help relieve seizures and muscle spasms.

When the child’s condition was caused by a doctor’s negligence, that medical professional should take financial responsibility for what occurred. A medical malpractice lawsuit can provide families with financial security, along with a sense that justice was done.

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