When you are looking forward to the birth of your child, you never think about the potential that things can go wrong. Unfortunately, too often because a doctor overlooked something important, an infant may be born with serious problems that are immediately evident or with problems that do not show up for several days, weeks or even months. While there are some birth defects that are inherited, too often, a birth defect is a result of neglect by your doctor.
Types of Birth Trauma
There are a number of potential birth defects which can be caused by medications you were prescribed while you were pregnant. In addition, there are some defects which can be caused during the labor and delivery stage including:
- Hypoxia – hypoxia is defined as a stop in or lack of oxygen flow to specific areas of the body. While you are pregnant, your baby gets their nutrition and oxygen through the umbilical cord. Unfortunately, the cord can be compressed during labor and if your doctor is not monitoring the baby for fetal distress, this can lead to no oxygen and loss of blood flow. Hypoxia can be caused by umbilical cord prolapse which can also lead to cerebral palsy
- High bilirubin level – high bilirubin levels in newborns is fairly common and is seen in more than one-half of all births. This can be a result of incompatible blood types between mother and infant or prematurity. While generally this is not a problem for newborns, if left undetected and untreated, infants can develop cerebral palsy
- Cephalohematoma – is when a child experiences swelling between the skull and the membrane covering the skull after birth. Blood will collect in between the skull and the membrane usually due to some sort of trauma sustained during birth.
Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Each of the above birth defects can cause cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy may not always be evident at the time of your child’s birth; instead, it could be several months and even a couple of years before you notice signs. There are three types of cerebral palsy that your infant may suffer with. They are:
- Spastic – characterized by stiffness in both arms and legs, this type of cerebral palsy generally requires the child have daily therapy to keep the muscles loosened. This type of cerebral palsy is generally caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain
- Dyskinetic – is typically characterized by a child drooling and having problems controlling the muscles. This often means a child is unable to sit or stand without assistance as well as having difficulty holding onto objects
- Ataxic – this most severe (and rare) form of cerebral palsy affects all the muscles. Children often have erratic eye movements, problems with holding objects and difficulty with motor tasks regardless of how simple they may appear
The most common cause of cerebral palsy is an oxygen deficiency during birth. This can be prevented provided the attending physician took the time to monitor fetal distress. If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you should seek the assistance of Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC. Your child with cerebral palsy will need specialized medical care which can run into thousands of dollars a month. We can help you file a claim to ensure you have the money you need to take care of your child today and throughout his life.
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