LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Marcus Bazzell Boston | Feb 17, 2019

Was A Brain Injury During Delivery The Cause Of Your Baby’s Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis?

Was a brain injury the cause of your baby’s cerebral palsy diagnosis (CP)? To put the question another way, did something happen during delivery which caused your baby’s brain injury and subsequent CP diagnosis? For a lot of parents there can be confusion when they are told that their baby has suffered a brain injury. One of the leading follow up questions is, how did this happen? Add a subsequent CP diagnosis and you can get not only feelings of confusion, but also feelings of despair.

The purpose of this birth injury article is to help you understand how a brain injury during delivery can sometimes lead to a CP diagnosis. One more thing, the focus of this article is not on brain developmental defects, but on doctors’ and nurses’ failure to properly and adequately identify and treat fetal distress.

WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the body’s movement and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the area(s) of the brain which control motor related functions. The condition can affect a child’s movement in multiple ways. Not only can it impact things such as: walking, running, standing, etc., it can affect other functions such as eating and swallowing.

Signs and symptoms of CP can be the following:

• Low Or Poor Muscle Tone: The baby may feel “floppy” when picked up or moved around. • Muscle Spasms: For parents, the baby may feel extremely stiff. In other words, the child has problems bending limbs and other parts of the body. • Feeding Difficulties: These types of difficulties can be displayed by the baby not wanting to eat at all. In addition, the baby may display an aversion to anything placed in their mouth. • Swallowing Difficulties • Delayed Development: Many babies are performing certain tasks by six months of age. For example, by six months, the baby should be sitting up on their other own or rolling over on their own

WAS A BRAIN INJURY THE CAUSE OF YOUR BABY’S CEREBRAL PALSY DIAGNOSIS?

When fetal distress is not properly identified and treated during a vaginal delivery, a baby can suffer a brain injury. One way in which a brain injury can occur is due to a reduced level of oxygen and blood for the baby. The medical condition associated with this reduced level of oxygen and blood is called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. Doctors and nurses can use a tool called the electronic fetal heart monitor to determine how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery.

The electronic fetal heart monitor displays information such as the baby’s heart rate, variability, early and late decelerations, to name a few things. This information can provide doctors and nurses with a snapshot in time of the baby’s well-being.

A brain injury can occur if the baby’s fetal reserves are depleted and current treatment has not alleviated the fetal distress. When conservative treatments for fetal distress are not working, doctors must be ready to move to an emergency c-section. If a baby goes too long with a profusion problem (blood and oxygen) a brain injury can occur and a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis.

DID THE DOCTORS AND NURSES CAUSE YOUR BABY’S BRAIN INJURY?

Are you now wondering was a brain injury the cause of your baby’s brain injury, with the cause of the brain injury due to something the doctors or nurse failed to do? If you would like to speak with me further about your baby’s injury, and future challenges, this is what I invite you to do.

Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq. Boston Law Group, LLC 2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 bostonlawllc.com 301-850-4832 1-833-4 BABY HELP

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