Developmental Delays and Cerebral Palsy in Babies

A young child in a stroller wears leg braces as a demonstration of developmental delays and cerebral palsy in babies.

One moment can crush a parent’s dreams of welcoming a perfectly healthy baby. Unfortunately, negligence and ineptitude from medical professionals can leave lasting damage that follows families beyond the delivery room. Developmental delays can be the result of a birth injury prompted by improper treatment. While delays such as cerebral palsy in babies may be caused congenitally, you may also look to the actions of medical professionals to pinpoint the cause.

An Introduction to Developmental Delays

Developmental delays are lifelong impairments typically caused by one of three factors: oxygen deprivation, traumatic birth injury or infection. While infections occur from exposure to bacteria or viruses, oxygen and blood can be limited by a multitude of incidents, such as a wrapped umbilical cord or a detached placenta.

The resulting developmental delays commonly include:

  • Hearing impairments
  • Visual impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Motor impairments

However, one of the most debilitating developmental delays is cerebral palsy in babies. Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that is caused by a decreased level of oxygen and blood to the brain. This results in a damaged prefrontal cortex, which causes the child to experience difficulties in movement, posture and more. An estimated 1 to 4 children per 1,000 births are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, with preterm or low-weight births making up the majority of cases. Cerebral palsy can impact eating, drinking, movement, coordination and verbal communication.

Developmental delays can have lifelong consequences, impacting a child’s ability to participate fully in academic endeavors, workplaces and other important spheres.

Medical Mistakes that Cause Developmental Delays 

Pregnancy and delivery are both delicate times for a mother and her child — they require consistent medical supervision and care to ensure that no problem goes untreated. Through inaction or improper treatment, medical professionals can cause developmental delays such as cerebral palsy in babies. Their negligence causes the child to suffer irreparable brain damage that may impact the trajectory of their life.

Medical professionals may cause developmental delays through: 

  • Failure to provide proper prenatal care. Prior to delivery, it is crucial to monitor expectant mothers for signs of conditions that may threaten the safety of mother and the child.
  • Failure to intervene during labor or delivery. Children may suffer oxygen deprivation as the result of wrapped umbilical cords, abnormal pelvic placement or delayed delivery.
  • Failure to properly diagnose and treat an infection in the mother. If an expectant mother suffers from a compromised immune system, they are more susceptible to infections that may cause injuries if left untreated.

Giving birth is not always easy, but certain complications can be prevented with early intervention from your medical professional. As of today, there is no cure for cerebral palsy in babies, along with many other conditions. While financial compensation will not heal the damage, a birth injury case will bring those responsible to justice and bring your family much needed closure.

Our Guiding Hand 

If you believe your child’s developmental delay was the result of a medical professional’s misguidance, call a birth injury attorney. At Zevan Davidson Roman, we understand the struggles that come with being a parent, especially when medical malpractice occurs. Sensory impairments, cognitive impairments and cerebral palsy in babies are all challenging conditions — we seek to help you ensure your child has the best quality of life going forward. For a free consultation, contact our birth injury attorneys today.

Missouri Birth Injury Lawyer

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