Cerebral Palsy Malpractice: 7 things to know

Cerebral Palsy Malpractice: The word cerebral refers to the cerebellum, and palsy means paralysis or injury. Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that refers to a brain condition caused due to a collection of neurological abnormalities – that affect balance and muscle strength, limit mobility, and even body posture. 

Cause of Cerebral Palsy

In cerebral palsy, the motor area of the brain’s outer layer, also known as the cerebral cortex, which controls muscular movement, is often damaged. The non-progressive disorders that develop in the fetal brain during pregnancy are mostly related to cerebral palsy. 

A brain injury resulting from any type of accident or a birth injury due to medical negligence, for instance, could lead to cerebral palsy symptoms. The latter usually happens when a doctor fails to pull out all the stops to keep a patient safe. The symptoms of cerebral palsy are most likely to manifest prior, during, or right after birth when infants experience traumatic injuries. And brain imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs can easily detect them.

About Cerebral Palsy Malpractice

Cerebral palsy malpractice is common. According to research, the CP prevalence estimates four suffer from said disorder out of 1,000 children. However, it is difficult to determine if your child’s CP was due to medical misconduct or some other mishap. In such a scenario, professional lawyers who have handled similar cases before can actively search for your child’s medical records and make up a precise discovery of the cause. 

In cerebral palsy malpractice, the healthcare professional is negligent to the patient’s requirement. Fetal distress like prolonged shortage of oxygen to the baby’s brain and incorrect delivery equipment use are a few aspects of malpractice. For example, a physician may not be aware of a preceding medical issue due to a simple administrative error. Alternatively, the medical staff could miss fetal discomfort during delivery. In the case of suspecting cerebral palsy medical malpractice, the family can file a lawsuit after proving claims and can be entitled to financial compensation.

Requirement for Malpractice Claim

An effective medical malpractice lawsuit requires clear and established evidence that one or maybe more healthcare practitioners were negligent or departed from the necessary level of care, which caused the baby’s cerebral palsy to develop.

To confirm a claim, you’ll almost always need the expert evidence of a medical specialist, such as a gynecologist, pediatrician, or physician. Evidence such as eyewitness accounts and medical records related to your baby’s injury will also play a role in the success of your claim.

What Happens in Malpractice?

Professionals in the healthcare field are obligated to adhere to guidelines when providing care. Hospital protocols or other medical authorities develop standards. Failure to achieve these requirements may be considered malpractice under the heading of “improper medical care.” It could entail the following:

Problems with the Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord attaches the child to the mother and provides oxygen and nutrients before birth. However, the umbilical cord can be damaged by a variety of factors. In some cases, it wraps around the infant’s neck, or the infant becoming caught in the pelvis during birth might induce signs of stress in the baby. It can cause the fetus to asphyxiate during delivery. Medical practitioners not caring about it and not untangling it at the right time cause a newborn to be deprived of oxygen, resulting in lasting brain damage and the development of cerebral palsy.

Injuries of Cesarean Section

Even though the delivery procedure of the Cesarean section has gotten safer as a result of developments in medical technology and knowledge, cesarean birth still has a high risk of complications and injury. Such issues can affect either the child or the mother. Numerous potential difficulties during a C-section delivery become a nightmare for newborns and parents. Sometimes one or more portions of the body are harmed. However, harm is unavoidable in some cases.

Breathing issues in infants are more common in a C-section than in a natural childbirth process. They can be fatal and are a prevalent cause of cerebral palsy in children. Therefore, the failure to give timely treatment when required becomes a large part of malpractice.

Errors in Medication

Medications errors are common in causing cerebral palsy. Your healthcare practitioner may prescribe medicines during pregnancy and delivery, and a blunder involving these drugs has the potential to be fatal for the mother or child and serve as a case of malpractice. For example, a medicine may be suitable for the mother but can have underlying side effects for the fetus. The long-term usage of such wrongly prescribed medication can then break the mother’s immunity, resulting in complications for the baby. 

Sometimes the excessive anesthesia used in surgical operations and insufficient monitoring of both the mother and the child’s status can impart the symptoms of CP. Any of the following mistakes could harm your child’s health, including breathing problems, a premature birth, brain injuries like the formation of cerebral palsy.

Administrative Errors

One of the reasons for malpractice is an error in administrative activities. For example, in large hospital settings, it’s possible to have a system flaw resulting in a relatively large amount of error in keeping up records. These include failing to record and identify all pertinent health issues of a mother and minimize them. In addition, medical professionals occasionally lack the necessary credentials for their positions. In other cases, the absence of a coherent set of protocols for operating can lead to confusion. Each year, these errors cause many cases of cerebral palsy.

How to Avoid Cerebral Palsy Malpractice?

Doctors can make several efforts to avoid cerebral palsy and misdiagnosis. These measures can help to lower the chances of a child being born with cerebral palsy:

  • If the fetal heart rate is low, it may indicate that the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen to the brain. Therefore, doctors should monitor the maternal and fetal heart rates regularly.
  • Most newborns are born with jaundice. If bilirubin levels in the bloodstream rise too high, it can infiltrate brain tissue and cause damage to numerous parts of the brain. To prevent the chances of brain damage, it should be identified and treated on time. 
  • Ensure that no harsh procedures or sharp tools are used by medical personnel along the delivery process. In addition, equipment should be properly maintained and sanitized to ensure no significant error and long-term damage occur.


Cerebral palsy malpractice is usually not deliberate, and doctors and healthcare professionals can avoid it if they are careful. Out of all the disorders children have, it is one of the most easily avoidable if taken enough care of before. Unfortunately, there is no proper cure for cerebral palsy; few treatments are there to help the victims mitigate the effects of the disorder.

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