If you are pregnant it is almost unavoidable that at some point you will worry about the health of your baby both while pregnant and afterwards. While you may follow all your doctor’s recommendations for a safe and healthy pregnancy and labor, if your doctor is negligent it could cause your baby to suffer severe medical conditions such as cerebral palsy.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage. It is a life-long condition. Most people with cerebral palsy are diagnosed in childhood. Cerebral palsy affects the brain, can cause muscle weakness making it difficult to walk, along with problems with balance, posture and movement. A person’s hearing, sight and cognitive abilities can also be affected by cerebral palsy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in 345 children suffer from cerebral palsy.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Most cases of cerebral palsy occur while a child is a fetus. Cerebral palsy can also develop due to brain damage during the birth process and after. Premature birth can also cause cerebral palsy.
It is important that doctors monitor infections during pregnancy that could affect the fetus. An unchecked infection during pregnancy can lead to cerebral palsy. Doctors must also be able to recognize when a fetus has bleeding in the brain, for example, if the fetus suffers a stroke while in the womb. Doctors also must recognize when a fetus has been exposed to toxins such as methylmercury while in the womb, because this could also cause cerebral palsy. Head injuries during the labor process and untreated jaundice can also cause cerebral palsy.
Ultimately, proper prenatal care can help prevent cerebral palsy. Proper monitoring of the fetus during the labor process and use of tools such as forceps and vacuum extraction during the birth process can also help prevent cerebral palsy. Sometimes quick action must be taken to avoid a life-long medical condition. If a doctor in South Carolina fails to apply the necessary standard of care causing an infant to suffer cerebral palsy, the child’s parents may want to learn more about how filing a medical negligence lawsuit may help them.