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What is cerebral palsy?

In a previous post, we discussed a birth injury known as Erb's palsy. Now lets take a look at a somewhat similar, and perhaps better-known birth injury: cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy occurs when there is an injury to the infant's brain during the birth or in some cases after the child has been born. This is usually due to insufficient oxygen to the baby's brain during the birthing process. Often this happens when the doctor fails to recognize the need for a cesarean section or waits too long to perform one.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy may not manifest themselves for weeks or even months, but can include "floppiness," delayed gross motor development, involuntary movements and problems with posture, speech, vision, coordination and hearing.

The birth of a child in Maryland is highly anticipated by the child's parents and extended family members. It is a time of joy, as the parents look forward to holding their healthy newborn baby in their arms. That is why birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, are so tragic. Doctors and other medical professionals must act with due care, meaning they must perform their job duties in the same way that a reasonable doctor would do under similar circumstances. Should they fail to exercise this duty and cause a birth injury, they may be held liable for their actions.

Filing a medical malpractice suit can be one way for parents of children suffering from otherwise preventable birth injuries to seek compensation. The medical bills associated with treating birth injuries can be astronomical, particularly if the child needs life-long care. But with the right help, parents can pursue the financial recovery they need to help their child.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy," Accessed on Sept. 28, 2014

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