Lake Charles Attorneys for Cerebral Palsy Caused by Birth Injuries
Like many parents in Louisiana, you were excited about your child’s birth. You also trusted that your obstetrician and others responsible for your labor and delivery would provide the highest possible care to you and your baby during the process.
Unfortunately, many complications can arise during pregnancy, labor, and delivery that can cause severe and chronic conditions in the child. With congenital issues and other factors, such as the mother’s health and behavior during pregnancy, birth injuries affect thousands of newborn babies yearly. In most cases, they are entirely preventable.
In addition to broken bones and other physical trauma, birth injuries can create permanent disabling conditions in the child. One of the most common is cerebral palsy.
If your child developed cerebral palsy from birth injuries caused by your delivery team’s negligence or wrongdoing, you might be entitled to compensation, and you can contact the Lake Charles birth injury attorneys at Veron Bice, LLC for help. Call us today at [phone-number linked=”true”] to request a free consultation.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy results from a damaged brain. It is considered a neurological disability and affects muscle control, body movement, posture, and muscle tone. A baby’s brain can develop abnormally or become damaged in the womb because of congenital issues, infections during pregnancy, and even incompatibility between the mother’s and baby’s blood types.
Another common cause of brain damage is oxygen deprivation. If the baby’s supply of oxygen is interrupted during the birthing process, it can cause brain damage that would most likely develop into cerebral palsy, and the effects may not be apparent until months or even years after the birth.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Since cerebral palsy is often caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery or congenital issues during pregnancy, most children with cerebral palsy are born with the condition. This can make it difficult to detect because newborns have no real control over their muscles and movements shortly after birth.
However, as babies develop, the signs become clearer, and many children receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy in ten to twelve months. Nearly all receive a diagnosis by age two.
As your baby grows, they will gain more control over their movements, and they will develop naturally in stages. According to The American Academy of Pediatricians, parents should have their children screened for developmental issues at nine months, eighteen months, and between 24 and 30 months as a part of their regular well-child doctor appointments. Your doctor will monitor your child’s development and record their progress.
You should always monitor your baby’s development at home and report any concerns to your pedestrian as soon as possible. Some of the common signs of cerebral palsy will become apparent as your child approaches or surpasses certain development milestones:
Less Than Six Months
- They cannot lift or control their head
- They are limp or feel like a rag doll when you pick them up
- Their arms or legs are stiff most of the time
- They cannot uncross their legs
- They stretch abnormally or arch their backs extremely
- They have seizures, convulsions, or intense muscle contractions
Between Six and Ten Months
- They cannot roll over on their own
- They cannot bring their hands together
- They cannot bring their hands to their mouth
- They are constantly clenching their fists
- One side of their body seems stiff
- They appear to only use one side of their body
- They make involuntary movements
- They exhibit vision or hearing issues
- They are not developing normally
Older Than Ten Months
- They don’t crawl in a normal-seeming way
- They drag their bottom or one side of their body as they crawl
- They hop on their knees instead of crawling
- They show a limited range of movement
- The drool excessively
- They are developing slowly
If you notice any of the symptoms, you should make an appointment with your pediatrician right away. Your doctor will conduct a developmental and medical evaluation, and they may order additional tests and screenings, such as brain imaging tests, MRIs, or other diagnostic procedures.
Levels of Cerebral Palsy
After diagnosing your child with cerebral palsy, your doctor will likely use the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in order to determine the severity of the condition. Your doctor will observe your child’s movements as well as their reliance on mobility devices.
The GMFCS has five levels of classification. GMFCS Level I is where the child can walk and climb stairs without using the rail. They can also run and jump, but their coordination and balance are limited. GMFCS Level V is the most severe, and the child is completely reliant on mobility devices and cannot control their posture and movements.
Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injuries
Aside from congenital and other factors during the pregnancy itself, brain damage can occur in newborns while the child is being delivered. The most common issues that can lead to brain damage are oxygen deprivation and head trauma.
- Oxygen deprivation – A baby’s brain needs a continuous supply of blood and oxygen, and when the supply is interrupted, it causes damage to the child’s brain cells. The damage can occur within a matter of minutes, so it is important to monitor the baby’s levels closely. A failure to monitor a child’s oxygen or errors in the delivery process can lead to irreparable brain damage that could result in cerebral palsy.
- Head trauma – Another cause of brain damage is head trauma. In some vaginal deliveries, the baby can get stuck in the birth canal, and the obstetrician will have to use forceps or a vacuum to extract the baby. This can place excessive force on the baby’s head and cause damage to the brain.
A delayed C-section may also cause oxygen deprivation in the child and lead to brain damage. There are other errors that can occur from the carelessness or negligence of the healthcare providers involved.
Contact Us for Help
The Lake Charles birth injury attorneys of Veron Bice, LLC are here for you and your child, and we are ready to help you get the compensation you need to provide for your baby’s needs. Contact us today at [phone-number linked=”true”] to request a free consultation concerning your child’s cerebral palsy caused by a birth injury.