Each year, approximately 10,000 to 12,000 newborn babies develop Cerebral Palsy. Approximately 10% of these cases occur as a result of complications and problems during labor and delivery, often as a result of mismanagement by physicians, nurses, and others involved in the labor and delivery process. These avoidable issues lead to life-long tragedies for the individuals involved and their families, and the financial burdens for this care are often insurmountable.
The fact that avoidable medical mistakes often lead to the problem is tragic, and unfortunately often-times families are not told about the issue. While many physicians will tell families that the cause of Cerebral Palsy is not known, they often fail to advise that in many cases it is known. Cerebral Palsy can be caused by problems during labor and delivery resulting in lack of adequate oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Also, in the newborn period, elevated levels of bilirubin can cause the condition to develop.
We all wear seatbelts to prevent injuries, but far less than 10% of people riding in motor vehicles will ever be injured. Tragically, for people with Cerebral Palsy, many times the situation could have been avoided by proper medical care, including during labor and delivery and in the neonatal period.
For these reasons among many others, it is important for any woman who is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant to be very careful in her choice of medical provider. There is only one chance to do the delivery correctly, so it is very important to select a provider who focuses their practice on pregnancy and delivery. Just as you would not want a pilot who only flies occasionally to be in control of the plane, you don’t want a physician who only delivers occasionally to handle your pregnancy.
It is very important for anyone who has a child with an unexplained diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy to contact an experienced birth injury attorney. Just as in selecting a pilot or a doctor, you want an attorney who handles many of these cases and is familiar with the latest developments in these complicated matters. Please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.