Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that typically results from childbirth. In the development of cerebral palsy, the brain can be affected by malformations, lesions, or incidents that occurred in utero such as prenatal brain cell death. Other prenatal conditions can include:
- Brain cell migration - due to genetic factors or the surrounding environment, brain cells may have their migration disturbed, and not make their way to the right section of the brain during its development. Genetic tests may be able to detect the chances of this happening if they are performed.
- Myelination - developing nerve cells that assist in transmitting signals within the brain may falter in producing enough of a protective lining that insulates them and protects them from damage.
- Cell death - prenatal death of brain cells can deprive a developing brain of oxygen, which can lead to cerebral palsy.
- Infections, inadequate oxygen, and trauma during birth can severely affect the correct development of a fragile brain, impeding its progress and causing damage.
Cerebral palsy is a serious, lifelong disability that will affect quality of life from infancy. There is no known cure, only treatments and developing research. There are ways to predict if a child is at risk within the womb and prevent trauma upon birth, but medical providers may simply bypass those precautions in an act of potential negligence and malpractice.
Affecting the nerves, Erb's palsy is a serious upper neural injury that can occur during difficult labor. It is a form of "obstetric brachial plexus disorder" and signals severe neural damage in a baby's upper arm. This will impede the arm's development, as well as the baby's mobility. Erb's palsy is not curable, though it can be treated. The effects of the disorder are numerous. Feeling lost in the hands, fingers and arm will leave a child with what may be seen as a useless limb, given the high potential for loss of mobility.
Often caused by incidents during labor, such as shoulder dystocia during a hard labor, this condition could impact part of, or the entire arm of a child, damaging the spinal cord's ability to communicate with the affected area. No infant should have to begin life feeling and appearing partially paralyzed. When doctors fail to prevent Erb's palsy, we hold them accountable.
During labor, the shoulders of a baby can become stuck in the birth canal. Nerve damage often follows when attempting to remove the infant, along with the risk of broken bones, brachial plexus palsy and facial injuries post shoulder dystocia. Some of these injuries can be devastating, including:
- Claw-like appearance of the hand
- Nerve damage and chronic pain
- Erb's Palsy
- Possible partial paralysis of the affected area
Any provider who is monitoring the progress of a labor and delivery should be able to accurately detect a fetus in distress. This can prevent the incredibly damaging effects that shoulder dystocia can bring upon a child and his or her family.
Often a medically necessary procedure, Cesarean sections are an alternate form of delivery in which surgery is performed to remove the infant from the womb instead of a "natural" birth via the birth canal. C-sections are a major surgery and many medical providers are somewhat reluctant to order them, but in certain circumstances, they are necessary to protect the health of the mother or the child. When a C-section is medically indicated, doctors need to move quickly to begin the surgery.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by the negative effects of a delayed C-section, you deserve compensation for your suffering. Contact a lawyer who knows the medical system and care about your situation. Call attorney Joseph F. Brown.
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A birth injury can change your family forever, and you need all the help you can get to move forward. Our firm has a unique combined medical and legal approach to cases. Contact us for a free case evaluation. Don't delay the help that you need and the compensation that you deserve.