Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
Cerebral palsy is an irreversible physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is the most common childhood physical disability. Approximately 17 million children worldwide and 500,000 children in the United States are currently diagnosed, suffering from visual, learning, hearing, speech, and intellectual impairments in addition to negative effects on body movement, balance, muscle coordination, reflexes, and muscle tone. This ailment is preventable in most cases and is often caused by damage to the brain to an unborn baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth. The associated side effects can rack up hefty medical costs, and undeserving families are often left to foot the bill even when a medical professional made a mistake.What did I do Wrong?
It is said that we are our worst enemy—a maxim that may feel true when our children are born with a preventable condition. Parents are left distraught wondering what they did wrong and how they could have prevented it. The answer is not what the parents did wrong; it is what the doctor did or did not do properly. The most common behaviors that can lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy include:
- Incorrect use of a vacuum, forceps, or other medical devices during delivery;
- Failure to identify the collapse of the umbilical cord;
- Inadequate performance while planning or scheduling a timely cesarean section;
- Improper monitoring of the heart rates of both mother and child, before, during, and after the delivery; and
- Not identifying and treating infections in a pregnant woman.
Seeing a doctor is not cheap. Seeing a specialist is even more costly. Add on the addition of medications, testing, and other treatment, just for a simple ailment such as the common cold can put a dent in any budget. When the condition is permanent and affecting daily life, the costs can become astronomical. For example, you may not be aware that:
- Medical costs for children with cerebral palsy are ten times greater than those for children without a physical or intellectual disability;
- Medical costs for children with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, as often occurs with cerebral palsy, are 26 times more than children without either; and
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the average lifetime medical expenses for a child with cerebral palsy are in the neighborhood of one million dollars.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the best way you can help him or her is to launch an investigation into the pregnancy and delivery. Together with the assistance of a proven lawyer with significant experience in this area, you will be able to determine who was negligent and demand they be held financially responsible. To discuss your options, contact a San Jose medical malpractice attorney today by calling Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free initial consultation.Sources