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Can Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Can Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice | No Comments

There is nothing more exciting for couples than the birth of their child. Their expectations for their new baby knows no bounds, but their biggest hope is that their child will be carried to term and born healthy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. There may be complications during pregnancy or childbirth that can cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy. Sometimes, those complications are a result of medical malpractice.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a serious health problem often resulting from not enough oxygen reaching an infant’s brain during labor or delivery. Its impact on the child and parents is lifelong, emotionally and financially. While some babies are born with cerebral palsy through no fault of anyone, about 10 percent of babies born with it developed it due to medical mistakes. That may not seem like a big number, but to those affected by cerebral palsy, it’s huge.

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impedes muscle coordination and body movement. While there are numerous factors that can result in cerebral palsy, regarding birth injuries and cases of medical malpractice, the most common reason is a deficient amount of oxygen reached the baby’s brain during labor or delivery.

Most children who have cerebral palsy were born with the condition, whether caused by malpractice or other factors, although it may not be diagnosed by doctors for the first few years of life. Cerebral palsy is considered a non-progressive condition, which means that it doesn’t get worse over time. It occurs in about three out of every thousand births in the nation.

When Medical Malpractice Leads to Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is often caused by hypoxia (insufficient oxygen to the brain), asphyxia (insufficient oxygen to the body), premature delivery, or trauma during birth. All of these causes can result from medical malpractice and mistakes made during labor or childbirth.

However, just because a baby is born with cerebral palsy, it doesn’t always mean that medical mistakes have been made. There are times that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals act with the greatest care while attending to mother and baby, and there are still negative outcomes. But when medical negligence is the cause of cerebral palsy, these are the most common mistakes:

failure to monitor the fetal heart rate appropriately during labor and childbirth

failure to identify and treat infections in the mother during her pregnancy

failure to identify a prolapsed umbilical cord

failure to schedule and perform a cesarean section when the baby is too large to deliver vaginally

delaying a cesarean section needed due to an emergency

other negligence or mistakes in using medical instruments like forceps or vacuum during delivery

Once the baby is delivered and it is discovered that he or she has suffered a lack of oxygen, there is often still time to prevent cerebral palsy from developing if the doctor acts quickly. Time is critical – every moment that passes without the baby having enough oxygen increases the risk of cerebral palsy. One way that oxygen deprivation can be helped is with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the baby being placed in a chamber that is full of 100 percent oxygen, which floods the tissue and slows the trauma to the brain. This treatment can lessen or eliminate the baby’s case of cerebral palsy.

If a doctor doesn’t act quickly or opts to not use hyperbaric oxygen therapy (when it is available), then the subsequent case of cerebral palsy can be found to be the doctor’s fault.

Taking Care of a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Taking care of a child with cerebral palsy is costly, can take a toll on the family emotionally, and it often requires a lifetime of care. That care, which includes medical expenses, therapy, home care, rehabilitation, and more, can easily reach $1 million in a lifetime. If the condition was caused by medical malpractice, a lawsuit can be filed which holds the responsible party liable for his or her negligence and provides compensation to the child and the family.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you suspect that there was medical malpractice involved, contact medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne, at (561) 293-2600 for an evaluation of your case.

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice, Medication Errors | No Comments

When parents become a certain age, many children have to consider that they may require more care than they can provide for themselves. When they reach the stage in which they need help with taking care of themselves and doing daily tasks, it’s natural to turn to nursing homes for help. It’s expected that when an elderly relative has to be placed in a nursing home, that they will receive care with kindness and competence, and proper medical care. However, that isn’t always what happens. Some nursing homes do not meet the duty of care that is expected of them and this can result in personal injuries for their patients.

If you have an elderly relative who you suspect is not receiving the proper level of care in a nursing home and they have been injured, your first priority should be to get them out of the environment and into a safe one. The very next thing you should do is consult with a lawyer who is experienced with nursing home abuse cases to help you gather the necessary evidence to help you with a case.

When Is Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice?

Typically, the reason that people move into nursing homes is because they are not able to take care of their medical needs (which are often increasing) on their own at home. One of the most important services that nursing homes provide their residents is medical care. Unfortunately, there are times when they don’t do so appropriately, and it results in injury. Your medical malpractice lawyer will have an extensive understanding of nursing home liability and be able to tell you when an injury sustained there is considered medical malpractice.

Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse that are considered medical malpractice are:

Medication errors

Physical or sexual abuse of residents

Malnourishment or dehydration

Failing to obtain the care of a doctor or registered nurse to access residents’ medical issues or complaints

Unsanitary conditions that cause infections

Malfunctioning medical equipment

Untrained, or insufficiently trained staff

Many nursing home residents are already in a declining or fragile state, which means that any neglect or abuse that they suffer may lead to serious injuries – even premature death.

Keep in mind that if your loved one is injured at a nursing home, it’s likely that the facility’s administrators will be cooperative and seem understanding, taking action to correct any errors or misdoings. Remember, that even so, they are looking out for their own best interests, not those of your loved one. It isn’t uncommon for nursing homes to offer families compensation for an injury and asking them to sign documentation that releases them from responsibility for the abuse. If this happens to your family, don’t sign anything and seek help from a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

Get Help for Your Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Case

If you have a relative who resides in a Florida nursing home, be aware of changes in their physical and mental health, and if you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne, for help with your case. He will provide you with the guidance you need and will advocate for your loved one in a lawsuit if it is a case of medical malpractice. Call today at (561) 293-2600, to get started on your case. Don’t delay, you have a limited amount of time in which to file your claim.