Cerebral palsy is a medical term that refers to a spectrum of neurological disorders which restrict body movement and muscle coordination. It is a developmental condition that affects both kids as well as adults.
What Are the Causes?
In seventy percent of the cases, the cause of cerebral palsy is congenital, and the condition develops during pregnancy for various reasons, including disease, injury, and positioning. In ten percent of the cases, the condition is caused by disease or injury when the brain is still forming in early childhood.
In twenty percent of the cases, the condition is caused by a birth injury that was either unavoidable or because of the healthcare provider’s negligence. Cerebral palsy is not diagnosed at birth, and it is caught when the baby fails to meet specific development milestones. Many kids do not obtain a firm diagnosis of this disease until they reach the age of two or three.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Rigid and perpetually contracted muscles;
- Automatic or disorderly movements of the body and face;
- Lack of movement control over the arms and legs;
- Muscle tightness and spasms;
- Impairment of sight, hearing, or speech;
- Impairment of brain function; or
- Flawed coordination and hardship with quick or precise movements.
What Is the Treatment?
People with cerebral palsy who acquire appropriate treatment can live an expected and productive lifespan. They often need treatment, surgeries, therapies, and adaptive equipment, and a lifetime of such care can be costly in terms of money and time.
You can get a medical examination to know whether the negligence of a healthcare provider caused your kid’s cerebral palsy and whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice suit.
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The Role of Medical Malpractice with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy can be caused by particular medical mistakes such as:
- The failure to catch a prolapsed umbilical cord.
- The failure to observe fetal heart rate properly before and during labor and birth.
- The failure to notice or adequately treat infections in the mother during pregnancy.
- The failure to prepare and schedule a cesarean section when a baby is too big for safe delivery.
What Are the Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim?
“Medical malpractice” refers to a physician’s or hospital’s failure to fulfill their legal obligations while caring for your child. The lawsuits for cerebral palsy demand proof that your kid’s condition could have been averted if the medical staff or facility had been more attentive.
The investigation will have to show that the medical staff or facility showed indications of neglect or malpractice and that your kid had some signs or symptoms of a birth injury. You can seek a medical malpractice lawsuit if you suspect that a delivery physician, nurse, or hospital did not meet their required standard of care.
What Parties Are Liable in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits can present several challenges. It may be easy to pinpoint the malpractice in many cases but difficult in others. A victim’s pre-existing illnesses may contribute to their injury. In addition, more than one of the individuals involved in a victim’s care may have contributed to their injury.
Doctors owe a duty of due care to all of their patients when they provide them with treatment. The duty of care owed by physicians is to provide care that is at least as good as the customary practice of doctors in good standing in the profession. Other healthcare providers also owe a duty of care to patients. That includes nurses, lab technicians, hospitals, and everyone on a hospital’s staff.
Suppose a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other healthcare worker provides care that falls below the standard of their profession, and their negligence harms their patient. In that case, they are liable for medical malpractice.
So, depending on the specific facts of the matter, it may be feasible to hold the following parties accountable for injury and loss caused by medical malpractice:
- Hospitals: The health care organizations that operate hospitals can be responsible for mistakes in patient treatment. An example of this could come up in connection with emergency room negligence. If the hospital employs a physician or nurse who is negligent in treating a patient, not a contractor, the hospital that employs them can be responsible for malpractice. If a team was liable for the care of a patient and more than one individual on the team was negligent, the hospital can be responsible. If an error of hospital administration causes a patient’s injury, the hospital can be responsible. If any member of a hospital’s staff negligently performed an assigned task, the hospital could be responsible for malpractice;
- Physicians and Surgeons: If a doctor or surgeon is liable for providing health care to a patient and that care falls below the standard of care that is at least as satisfactory as the customary practice of doctors in good standing in the community, they are responsible for medical malpractice;
- Nurses and Other Staff: Nurses and other staff in hospitals and other care facilities, e.g., physician’s offices and surgical facilities that are not in hospitals, also have the same duty to provide care to patients, and if they breach that duty and their breach is a direct cause of injury to their patient, they too can be responsible for malpractice;
- Pharmacies and Pharmacists: Pharmacists and pharmacies are not an exception, and they owe their patients the same duty of care as all other health care providers. Pharmacists can make mistakes; providing the wrong medication when filling a prescription, giving medication in the wrong dosage, or providing the incorrect instructions are examples of how pharmacists and pharmacies can breach their duty of care and cause serious injury to patients.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is far from irregular. Experts have estimated that the incidence of injury to patients caused by the negligence of healthcare providers is one in one hundred hospital admissions. The kinds of malpractice that can happen are as numerous as the procedures and treatments provided to patients by the different providers involved in healthcare.
What If More Than One Party Is Liable for the Injuries?
Another concern with medical malpractice liability is that more than one healthcare provider can be liable for a patient’s injuries. The law of comparative negligence deals with assigning only the percentage of responsibility that their conduct justifies to each responsible person or entity. It is the recognition that more than one healthcare professional may have been involved in an incident of malpractice.
In addition to the standard medical procedures physicians provide, medical treatment includes several stages, such as intake, diagnosis, pre-treatment consultation, and follow-up. Medical mistakes can occur in any of these phases.
For instance, a nurse may receive incorrect directions regarding the dosage of specific anesthesia. The question then becomes whether the nurse should have recognized the error and suggested to the physician correct the dosage. This can depend on many different factors, such as the nurse’s skill level and the nature of the directions the nurse received. Many cases of malpractice occur during the diagnosis phase of medical care.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
The link between cerebral palsy and medical malpractice can be problematized. Furthermore, the facts in each case and the regulations in each state are different.
If you have specific questions about filing a claim for medical negligence, it would be beneficial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before proceeding.