The National Institutes of Health describes the term "Cerebral Palsy" as referring to "any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination…" "Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, it isn't caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements." For additional information from the NIH, click this link.
There are many known causes of cerebral palsy including infectious diseases such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis which attack the brain, brain trauma from accidents where a head injury was sustained, and brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.
During an expectant mother's labor and delivery of her newborn, there are instances when healthcare providers may not properly monitor the well being of the fetus. They may fail to recognize and/or timely treat fetal distress; which may include an emergent C-section or other expedited delivery. These failures may constitute medical malpractice, and, could result in a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain during the labor, often referred to as hypoxia. It is that lack of oxygen to the baby's brain (referred to as perinatal asphyxia) which can cause a brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy and other conditions. After the birth, a failure to properly treat a newborn's respiratory deficiencies may also result in a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) and similar injuries to the newborn's brain.
In addition, healthcare providers may fail to test for, recognize or timely/properly treat jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) in a newborn, or, infectious diseases such as meningitis in both children and adults. These failures might also constitute medical malpractice. A failure to timely diagnose and properly treat, and/or unacceptable delays in the treatment of these conditions, may result in brain damage and cerebral palsy. Other conditions, which if not timely recognized and treated, may result in a cerebral palsy injury include: hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, hypopituitarism, meconium aspiration syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypotension, intracranial bleeding and hemorrhage (possibly caused by the inappropriate use and application of forceps and vacuum extractors during delivery), and errors of inborn metabolism.
Blume Forte has handled hundreds of cases involving babies who suffered from a lack of oxygen during labor and after delivery, and, those for newborns that were not treated correctly for their jaundice, infectious diseases, and other conditions.
Our NJ personal injury attorneys take pride in assisting our clients who have children and other family members with brain injuries, and help to obtain special services often required by the neurologically impaired.
Please feel free to contact us at (973) 635-5400 regarding your potential case. We will conduct an investigation and review the medical records at no cost to you.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.