Cerebral Palsy cases by their nature are complex and challenging. It is a huge decision for a family to take a legal case due to Cerebral Palsy. You need a legal team with experience in this area to guide you through the legal process. We have worked with over 30 cases arising from birth injury in the UK & Ireland. We are one of the few firms in Ireland with practical hands on experience of periodical payment orders, which is due to be introduced in Ireland shortly.
Let our experience guide you every step of the way.
Cerebral Palsy- Why Bring a Legal Case?
Cerebral palsy sufferers face additional challenges in life. The extent of these challenges vary from person to person. The input of specialist support enables a child suffering from cerebral palsy to reach their full potential. This may include assistive technology, physio at home, sensory therapies, adaptation of a vehicle or a house etc. The list is extensive.
Unfortunately, these supports or particular devices are often not available through the HSE or even may not be available to the extent required. The cost of the treatments can be a huge financial drain. Also, trying to access these services can be complex. Securing a legal claim for cerebral palsy gives peace of mind that finance is in place each year to cater for any additional needs. This also ensures that even if the primary carer were to pass away, the special care needs of their loved one would be looked after.
Families and carers also adapt their lives to look after the needs of their loved one. We have a deep understanding of the impact on families who strive to provide the best care for a child with cerebral palsy. A legal claim can put supports in place to allow the family to live as a family- to eat together, to have a full nights sleep, to spend time together, the same as any other family.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is caused by an injury to the developing brain. The injury to the brain can occur before, during or immediately after birth.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy may appear in the first few months of life. A parent my notice their child progressing slower than others at the age. Some children may be slow to communicate or to move on their own, or both. A delay in meeting development milestones is monitored closely by medical staff. If cerebral palsy is diagnosed, the full extent of the child’s impairment should be known once the child has reached the age of 5.
For more information on the symptoms and types of cerebral palsy please read here.
Problems Before Birth
In pregnancy, proper development of a child’s brain can be affected by:
Maternal infection such as german measles, chickenpox, toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus (CMV);
Infections of the placenta or fetal membranes;
Insufficient oxygen to the foetus.
Doctors are trained to identify risk factors in pregnancy and also to identify signs of distress in the mother and the baby. Pre-natal care is essential for this reason. In some instances, mistakes are made and adequate treatment is not given to the mother. A medical negligence case can be brought when a doctor’s error caused cerebral palsy to occur.
Problems During Labour and Delivery
Problems during labour and delivery which cause cerebral palsy include deprivation of oxygen to the brain or incorrect technique during an instrumental delivery. Cerebral palsy can occur when there is a:
Failure to respond to fetal distress;
Failure to notice and properly treat prolapsed umbilical cord;
Failure to manage shoulder dystocia;
Delay in using emergency c-section measures;
Misuse of Oxytocin/ Syntocinon to induce or accelerate labour;
Excessive use of a vacuum or forceps causing external trauma to the brain
Where the correct medical intervention is not carried out, this can cause CP in the child.
Problems After Birth
A baby can sustain brain damage and develop CP as a result of problems or complications after birth. This is known as acquired cerebral palsy. This can occur due to:
Severe or untreated jaundice
Stroke due to poorly formed blood vessels
Sickle Cell Disease
Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis
Head Injury due to trauma
In some cases, medical negligence may have allowed the cerebral palsy to develop for example where an infection was left untreated or there was a delay in diagnosing the infection.
Proving Your Claim for Cerebral Palsy
If you have questions as to whether your pregnancy, labour and delivery were properly handled, speak with us in confidence. You can speak with Melanie Power direct on 061 513 055 or email our medical negligence solicitors on [email protected].