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Causes of Cerebral Palsy

This infant's cerebral palsy was caused by a Birth Injury.

While every child is unique, those affected by a serious birth injury share one thing in common: Before or during delivery, something went wrong that caused the baby harm. It’s not always easy to know what happened or why, especially when the signs of a birth injury don’t appear until long after the baby’s birth. But there can be warning signs that a birth injury happened, and that it was caused by medical malpractice.

The Seattle birth injury attorneys at The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC are a trusted resource for birth injury victims and their families throughout Washington. Our proven experience and results mean we know how to investigate even the most complicated birth injuries and get maximum relief for victims of doctors’ and hospitals’ mistakes. From Seattle, Pasco, Richland, Kennewick, Bainbridge Island, or elsewhere in Washington, you can reach us for a free consultation by simply calling 206-842-3330 or by using our online form.

Why Did My Child Develop Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormalities in the parts of a baby’s brain that control muscle movements. The abnormalities can happen if the baby’s brain doesn’t form properly, or if the baby’s brain suffers damage while it is still undergoing important growth and development.

Many cases of cerebral palsy can be traced to a harmful event that a baby suffered before or during birth. In those cases, it was the harmful event that caused injury to the baby’s brain, leading to the baby’s cerebral palsy.

What sorts of events can injure a baby in a way that would cause cerebral palsy? There are many, but the most common include:

  • Intrauterine Hypoxia – This means insufficient oxygen getting to the baby’s brain while the baby is growing inside its mother’s womb. This can happen because of something wrong with the mother, the baby, or the umbilical cord. If a physician fails to promptly detect and treat the condition causing intrauterine hypoxia, the baby can suffer brain damage and cerebral palsy.
  • Birth Asphyxia – This happens when a baby is deprived of oxygen during the process of labor and delivery. It occurs most often in cases of delayed, extended, or abnormal delivery. The lack of sufficient oxygen causes brain damage that results in cerebral palsy.
  • Physical Injury – Physical trauma to a baby during delivery can result in brain damage and cerebral palsy, particularly if the injury is to the baby’s head.
  • Other problems include infections in the mother or baby that interfere with the  development of the baby’s brain.

How Do I Know If My Child’s Birth Injury Was Caused By Medical Malpractice?

If your baby suffered a serious birth injury, you’re likely confused and worried, and left wondering how your child was harmed. In almost all cases, that’s a hard question to answer. It usually requires a thorough, painstaking review of your child’s complete medical records to know whether your child’s injury resulted from medical negligence by a healthcare professional, including your doctor.

That’s why it’s critical that you have your case evaluated by an experienced and skilled birth injury lawyer, someone who can best assess whether your child’s condition – such as cerebral palsy – is the result of a medical mistake.

There are telltale signs, however, that can suggest complications with labor and delivery that may have resulted in a birth injury. These include:

  • You had an extended period of labor, or other delay in delivery
  • There was breech or other delivery in which the baby’s position was wrong
  • There was an unexpected need for a Caesarian delivery, or C-Section
  • Your doctor had to use a vacuum extractor to aid delivery
  • Your baby had a low heart rate during delivery
  • Your baby was “blue” at birth
  • A previously unrecognized infection was discovered
  • You had a long hospital stay after delivery, or spent time in a neonatal unit

If your delivery involved any of these factors, it is a good indication that your baby suffered a birth injury which caused it to develop cerebral palsy.

Don’t Delay Seeking Legal Help For Your Child’s Birth Injury

Just as it’s important to get prompt, professional medical assistance for any child suffering from cerebral palsy, it’s critical to seek qualified legal help if you think your child’s condition might have resulted from a medical mistake. Even for experienced birth injury attorneys, it takes time to gather and carefully evaluate your child’s medical records as the first step in determining whether there is evidence of medical negligence. In the meantime, your child’s medical bills don’t stop, and you have to continue providing for your child’s special needs.

At The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC our trusted birth injury lawyers have a proven record of getting results for birth injury victims and their families. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll explain how we can put our dedication and experience to work for you.

From Seattle, Pasco, Richland, Kennewick, Bainbridge Island, or elsewhere in Washington, you can reach us to schedule a consultation about your case by simply calling 206-842-3330 or by using our online form.