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Medical malpractice during birth can lead to cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects people's abilities to control their muscles. At Donovan & O'Connor, LLP, we have seen too many cases in Massachusetts in which children develop this condition as a direct result of a preventable birth injury.

People who have cerebral palsy may face a lifetime of hardship, as the brain damage that causes the condition may also result in other health issues including vision, speech and hearing problems.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, a lack of oxygen can lead to birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy. In some cases, these injuries are a direct result of medical malpractice such as the following:

  • Failing to perform a cesarean section in a timely matter or at all
  • Failing to detect and treat a pregnant mother's infections, such as meningitis
  • Failing to detect an umbilical cord that is prolapsed
  • Failing to monitor a fetal heart rate during labor and birth
  • Failing to use tools such as a vacuum or forceps appropriately

While there are some cases in which cerebral palsy is genetic and cannot be avoided, the CDC reports that roughly 85 percent of cases are congenital, and there are things people can do to prevent the condition from developing. For example, maintaining a healthy pregnancy is key, as illnesses that are left untreated can lead to fetal problems.

People who suspect that a child's cerebral palsy developed as a result of medical negligence should consult an attorney. At Donovan & O'Connor, LLP, we understand how devastating a diagnosis can be and aggressively pursue justice on behalf of families.

For more information regarding this topic, please visit our cerebral palsy page.

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