Cerebral Palsy is a very complex condition that can develop before, during, or after birth. It is a brain injury or malformation that affects muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. It can also cause learning disabilities or vision, speech, hearing, or language problems. 

There are different reasons for Cerebral Palsy, but the main type, responsible for about 70% of children who have Cerebral Palsy, is Congenital Cerebral Palsy. According to WebMD, 20% of those kids are diagnosed with Congenital Cerebral Palsy due to a brain injury during the birthing process. Birth injury medical malpractice will frequently come into play if there is severe oxygen deprivation to the brain or significant head trauma during labor and delivery. 

If your child has Cerebral Palsy when they are born, you probably will not know right away. The first clues are usually delays in the developmental process. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), early signs to look out for include:

  • Difficulty learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk
  • Abnormal muscle tone. Decreased muscle tone can make them appear relaxed or even floppy. Increased muscle tone can make them appear stiff or rigid. 
  • Unusual posture
  • Favoring one side of the body when moving 

Risk factors for developing Cerebral Palsy go much further than issues related to medical malpractice, and many different things can cause the condition to develop:

  • Infections during pregnancy
  • Low birth weight or premature birth
  • Blood type incompatibility between mother and baby
  • Mothers with thyroid abnormalities, mental retardation, or seizures
  • Exposure to toxic substances

Cerebral Palsy is an extremely complicated condition that can develop for a variety of reasons. If you suspect that your child has Cerebral Palsy because of negligence on the part of your doctor or another health care professional, it is extremely important that you speak with a birth injury lawyer right away. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if pursuing a medical malpractice claim is the right course of action. If you live in Texas, Arkansas, or Oklahoma, contact Girards Law for a free consultation at 888-897-2762