Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice in Hawaii
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heartbreaking disorder that can overwhelm parents of children who are diagnosed with it. CP is a condition that impacts areas of the brain that control motor function, causing spastic movements in the body. It may affect all limbs, sometimes just the lower limbs, or other times one side of the body. Children with CP may also be more susceptible to respiratory issues; seizures; problems with speech, hearing, and vision; learning disabilities or mental retardation; bone abnormalities; and dysfunction with certain organs.
Most children diagnosed with CP have a congenital condition, meaning that the malformation of certain areas of the brain existed at birth and was not caused by circumstances involved in delivery of the baby. Signs of CP typically appear in infancy or shortly thereafter, before the age of three. Various factors can affect the developing brain during pregnancy, including exposure to certain chemicals (most commonly alcohol), infections experienced by the mother, severe physical trauma to the mother while carrying the child, smoking and drug use, and premature birth with low birth weight.
Sometimes, however, CP is caused by irresponsible medical care during the delivery of the child. Medical malpractice leading to CP can take a number of forms:
- Negligent use of instrucments or excessive use of force during delivery.
- Failure to perform a cesarean section when the situation called for it.
- Failure to diagnose and properly treat infections in the pregnant mother.
- Failure to adequately monitor fetal heart rate before and during labor and birth.
- A locak of oxygen for the fetus due to failure to properly attend to a prolapsed umbilical cord.
Some children with CP will be able to achieve a degree of normalcy in their lives. Others will never be able to care for themselves or earn a living. Expenses for caring for a child with CP can be substantial and may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy; medications; wheelchairs; walkers; braces; communication aids; doctor’s visits; and household and transportation modifications.
The emotional and financial toll on families dealing with CP can be enormous. When CP has been caused by medical negligence, you need a skilled, experienced, and caring Hawaii medical malpractice attorney on your side to protect your and your family’s rights.