Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. have the most experienced cerebral palsy attorneys. They often represent children and their families in birth injury lawsuits. This includes cases involving issues in pregnancy, at the time of birth, and immediately after birth in which the newborn is injured due to medical negligence. Cases are often filed against the responsible parties: the obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, hospitals, birthing units, and specialists.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing: before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

Those with cerebral palsy are most likely born with the condition, although some acquire the condition at birth or shortly thereafter depending on cause. Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may not always be apparent at birth. The child will likely experience a delay in development and growth milestones. Around 8,000 to 10,000 babies and infants are diagnosed per year with cerebral palsy.

Acquired CP |Causes & Risk Factors

According to the CDC, a small percentage of CP is caused by brain damage that occurs more than 28 days after birth. This is called acquired CP, and usually is associated with an infection (such as meningitis) or head injury. One of the forms of CP is acquired CP. Acquired CP happens after birth due to one of the common risk factors. Some causes of acquired CP are listed below:

  • Infection: Infections of the brain, for example, meningitis or encephalitis during infancy.
  • Injury: Injuries to the brain, for example, head injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes or child abuse.
  • Problem with blood flow to the brain: Cerebrovascular accidents, for example, stroke or bleeding in the brain associated with a blood clotting problem, blood vessels that didn’t form properly, a heart defect that was present at birth, or sickle cell disease.

Some things increase the chance that a child will have CP. These are the common risk factors associated with acquired CP. However, it is important to remember that having a risk factor does not mean that a child will have CP. Some risk factors for acquired CP are:

  • Infancy: Infants are at greater risk of a brain-damaging event than older children.
  • Preterm or low birth weight: Children born preterm or at low birth weight are at greater risk for acquired CP.
  • Brain infections: Not getting certain vaccinations increases the risk of brain infections that can result in CP.
  • Injury: Inadequate safety measures or lack of adult supervision can increase the risk of injury that can result in CP.

A Los Angeles jury recently awarded a brain damaged child $7.3 million dollars in a hospital malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital failed to diagnose and treat the child for meningitis when the child was just one year’s old. The failure to treat the infection caused permanent and irreversible brain damage to the child.

The suit alleged that had the child been treated sooner with antibiotics, she would not have suffered the brain injury. She now requires physical therapy and behavioral therapy as a result of her brain damage. Bacterial meningitis is a treatable illness if timely diagnosed and if treatment is started in a timely manner.

Call a Michigan cerebral palsy misdiagnosis lawyer for more information on a potential lawsuit.

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