Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a condition that has no cure, requiring a lifetime of therapy and treatments.


Cerebral palsy is not a disease in itself, but refers to a group of neurological disorders that appear in early childhood or infancy, and affect the child’s body movement, balance, and muscle coordination permanently. The condition is caused because of abnormalities in certain parts of the brain that control muscle coordination and movement.

Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Although most children with this condition are born with it, the symptoms may not show up for months or years. Parents may be able to detect early symptoms before the child’s third birthday. Common symptoms are:

  • lack of head control
  • delays in crawling or walking
  • muscle abnormalities
  • poor motor development
  • loss of balance and coordination
  • difficulty in writing and coordination
  • involuntary movements and spasms
  • problems with sight, speech, and hearing
  • slow development
  • problems with bowel and bladder control
  • seizures

Other common symptoms are ataxia, spasticity, crouched gait, walking on toes or with one leg or foot dragging, and floppy or stiff muscle tone.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

There are several causes of cerebral palsy, such as a lack of oxygen supply to the brain and genetic conditions which affect how the baby’s brain develops during the first six months of life. Congenital cerebral palsy may present itself after the baby’s brain has developed, for example, during the later stages of pregnancy. This may be caused by infections such as bacterial meningitis, lack of oxygen, brain hemorrhage, or head injury.

Medical Errors Resulting in Cerebral Palsy

Unfortunately, medical errors can lead to severe birth injuries including cerebral palsy. Common medical errors that cause cerebral palsy are:

  • failure to detect fetal distress
  • failure to order a timely cesarean section
  • failure to diagnose a prolapsed umbilical cord that reduces oxygen supply
  • improper use of assistive techniques such as delivery forceps and vacuum extractor
  • failure to monitor and respond to the infant’s vital signs
  • failure to suction the baby properly
  • failuret to identify and treat seizures after delivery
  • failure to properly diagnose and treat meningitis or jaundice

Our St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer explains that parents may suspect the possibility of a claim if any of the following incidents occurred:

  • use of CPR after birth
  • emergency delivery through a cesarean section or the use of forceps or vacuum extractor

Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is a condition that cannot be cured, however, treatment and therapies are available that can significantly improve the child’s quality of life. The child may require a lifetime of therapy and treatment and this may pose a huge financial burden on the family. If you suspect that your baby’s cerebral palsy is a result of a birth injury caused by the doctor’s negligence or some other form of medical malpractice, seek legal help from Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.


Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.

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