Cerebral palsy is a condition that is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to the developing brain. It affects a child’s ability to control their muscles, and it can vary widely in severity. If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after their birth, this is likely to have been a traumatic experience for you, and you may be in search of answers for why this happened to your child.
If you can show the likely underlying cause of your child’s cerebral palsy and that the negligence of a hospital or medical professional caused your child’s injury, you might be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and gain back compensation for the damages that you and your child have suffered and continue to suffer. The following is an overview of some of the possible underlying causes of cerebral palsy.
- Lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy): During labor, the child’s brain can be deprived of oxygen. While a newborn can compensate for brief periods of depleted oxygen, brain tissue can start to be destroyed if the baby is deprived of oxygen for a long time. Medical malpractice can sometimes be the cause of oxygen deprivation.
- Cerebral dysgenesis – abnormal brain development: Abnormal brain development has many different causes and risk factors. Infection is one known cause, and risk factors include cytomegalovirus, rubella, herpes, syphilis, and varicella (chickenpox).
- Brain hemorrhage: A brain hemorrhage can cause the loss of oxygen to tissue. The severity of the hemorrhage usually dictates the severity of the associated injuries.
- Damage to the white matter of the brain – periventricular leukomalacia: Periventricular leukomalacia is a type of brain damages that involves the brain’s white matter. Between 60% to 100% of infants with periventricular leukomalacia are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis could have been prevented by competent doctors, you may wish to consider the possibility of filing a medical malpractice claim.