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Cerebral Palsy May be Caused by Medical Mistakes at Birth

A recent historical jury verdict in a West Virginia birth injury lawsuit highlights the significant costs to a family and a child who must live with the effects of a preventable birth trauma for years to come.

In this instance, the jury awarded $55 million to the family as the result of mistakes made by a hospital and one of its doctors during the delivery of their son. The mistakes ultimately led to their child suffering from cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a type of birth injury caused by trauma to the brain, and typically occurs at or close to the time of birth. The condition is chronic and will not get better or worse over time.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy can include loss of movement or other functions related to the nervous system. It affects brain development and can cause abnormal hearing and eyesight as well as cognitive difficulties such as the ability to think and learn. It may also manifest as uncontrolled movement of the limbs, troubles in being able to walk, abnormal posture and trouble with balance and coordination.

Families who believe their child may have developed cerebral palsy as the result of a medical error during the birthing process are urged to consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer right away. A skilled medical malpractice attorney can begin an investigation into what happened at the time of birth and help your family obtain the help you deserve.

In this instance, the couple alleged that child wasn't getting enough oxygen during the birth but the doctors failed to notice the signs of distress. The infant subsequently became stuck in the birth canal, and doctors failed to act quickly and take steps such as performing an emergency C-section. Instead, the doctors used vacuum extraction. Allowing the baby to remain in the birth canal for too long, denying the newborn sufficient oxygen, can cause cerebral palsy. The incorrect use of forceps or other negligent care can also bring this condition about.

Had the doctors and other medical staff acted quickly, it may have been possible to reduce the severity of the child's birth injury.

For more information about birth injuries or cerebral palsy, or if you believe your child may have been injured by medical malpractice at birth, please contact an experienced and compassionate California birth injury lawyer at Bostwick & Peterson.

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