A birth injury can lead to cerebral palsy

You wake to see your husband in tears. It seems a strange reaction for someone who has just become a father for the first time. He tells you the doctors think there may be something wrong with your baby.

Some birth injuries are minor and will recover of their own accord; others can be life-changing. Cerebral palsy is one of them. Doctors may suspect it in a newborn baby, but confirming the diagnosis may require monitoring your baby for weeks or months to be sure.

Medical professionals cannot pinpoint the cause of every case of cerebral palsy, but they can do in many cases. Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest at least 85% of cases are congenital — the baby is born with it. 

It can occur as a result of something that happens before birth, or something during the birth process itself. It can even happen during the first year of life when the brain is still developing, but this is less common. Whenever it happens, it arises as a result of damage to the brain. It can leave your child unable to walk unaided and may affect their ability to talk, see or hear. They may need lifelong care.

These are some of the errors medics can make, which may lead to cerebral palsy:

  • Not detecting and treating an infection.
  • Not ensuring the baby receives sufficient oxygen during the birth process.
  • Not monitoring the mother and baby adequately to detect problems.
  • Not performing a cesarean section when it was needed. 

If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy is due to an act of medical negligence, seek legal help to assess if you should file a malpractice claim.