Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects movement, co-ordination, balance, and posture.
It can affect a person’s gross motor and fine motor ability and make day to day activities difficult such as crawling, standing, walking, running, grasping, dressing, eating and writing. It may also affect vision, communication, learning and behaviour.
Often cerebral palsy is no-one’s fault, however, in many cases, it can be caused by negligent medical care.
We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events. Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
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What are the leading causes of cerebral palsy medical negligence?
Cerebral palsy is usually caused by something that affects the development of the baby’s brain while developing in the womb. An example of these problems might be –
Damage to part of the brain called white matter, possibly as a result of a reduced blood or oxygen supply (periventricular leukomalacia)
An infection caught by the mother (examples of infections are cytomegalovirus, rubella, chickenpox or toxoplasmosis)
Bleeding in the baby’s brain or the blood supply to their brain may have been cut off
Injury to the unborn baby’s head
During birth, health professionals go to great lengths to monitor any indications the baby is showing signs of impaired blood supply, infection or injury. In some circumstances, these issues may not be noticed, or may be due to an error on behalf of one of the medical team overseeing the delivery. If a doctor, midwife, nurse, or any other health professional involved in your care makes a mistake which results in Cerebral Palsy, this may be classified as medical negligence.
The following is a breakdown of the common ways in which a doctor might be responsible for cerebral palsy medical negligence:
Undiagnosed intrauterine growth restriction
Intrauterine growth restriction is when a baby’s growth slows down or stops during pregnancy. This might happen because of problems with the placenta.
If treating doctors fail to competently manage intrauterine growth restriction in pregnancy and this leads to a child developing cerebral palsy, this could be considered negligent.
Failure to treat and manage maternal infection
Mothers can suffer from different infections during pregnancy such as group B streptococcus infection which can lead to meningitis and permanent brain damage.
If treating doctors fail to provide appropriate medical treatment for maternal infections and this leads to a child developing cerebral palsy this may be considered negligent.
Negligent monitoring of the baby during labour
Midwives and obstetricians should carefully monitor the baby’s condition during labour and act on any signs of distress. There are numerous situations that may lead to the baby’s brain being injured during labour and failure to spot and treat any issues may be considered negligent.
Negligent failure to advise or perform a caesarean section
There may be signs that a vaginal delivery is inappropriate and that the mother should instead undergo a planned or emergency caesarean section. Failure to elect for caesarean section which results in injury to the baby’s brain may be considered negligent.
Negligent neonatal care
There are numerous situations that may lead to a new born baby developing cerebral palsy. Some examples are failure to diagnose and treat neonatal infection, such as group B streptococcus infection which can lead to meningitis and brain injury. Failing to diagnose and/or appropriately treat hypoglycaemia may also be a cause for concern.
Negligently managed umbilical cord prolapse
An umbilical cord prolapse is when the umbilical cord descends through the opening of the womb before the baby. In turn, the cord becomes trapped when the baby is being delivered, depriving the baby of oxygen. The result may be that the baby develops cerebral palsy or death. It is important for healthcare providers to monitor the baby and the mother for this occurrence.
To bring a claim for Cerebral Palsy medical negligence, it will be necessary to provide evidence that:
The standard of care you received fell below that of a competent physician of the same level, and;
This negligence caused injury to your son or daughter.
To prove your case, we will compile evidence including medical records and seek expert medical opinion.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid case, speak to one of our specialist Cerebral Palsy medical negligence solicitors. Our team will take the time to listen to the details of what happened and provide an honest assessment of the claim.
Claims following a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy due to medical negligence may cover two areas of loss:
Pain and suffering due to the injury;
Specific financial costs resulting from the injury caused. This may cover costs already incurred, such as transport, accommodation, and medical treatment, and expected future expenses, such as physical therapy and care costs. The costs you receive will be based on the precise injuries suffered and the circumstances of the case.
Children with Cerebral Palsy may also require specialist equipment to enable their mobility and everyday functioning. Modifications to the home may be required to facilitate their needs and such costs will be considered as part of the claim.
Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving children diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to medical negligence. Our team have been helping clients since 2004, with decades of combined experience across the team, and place client care at the centre of everything they do. From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case. We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by children, and their families following such events. Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf, compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim. We will answer any subsequent questions and/or provide further information if required. By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
At Lavelle Partners LLP, we have worked with many clients who have suffered serious medical negligence, successfully bringing claims on their behalf where it was due to negligence by another party. Here are some of our recent cases.
For further information on making a claim for a claim following medical negligence resulting in a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at email@example.com
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
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