Knowledgeable South Carolina Birth Injury Lawyers Pursuing Compensation for Cerebral Palsy
Handling medical malpractice cases in Anderson, Rock Hill, Columbia, Sumter, and Georgetown
You hold your doctor to a high standard, with the full expectation that he or she will take every measure to protect the health of you and your newborn. When a doctor, nurse, or medical facility fails to meet this expectation, your baby may experience injuries to the brain, which can cause cerebral palsy.
When the action or inaction of a medical professional results in injury to your innocent newborn, seek representation from an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC. We have more than 20 years of experience handling birth injury cases involving cerebral palsy.
What is cerebral palsy and how does it occur?
Cerebral palsy is a term used for a number of motor conditions with symptoms that include poor reflexes, poor motor development, lack of coordination, involuntary spasms, difficulty walking and speaking, bone and joint deformities, and learning disabilities. It is an injury to the brain during development. It can occur during the gestational period, at the time of birth, or immediately after delivery. While certain conditions result from genetics, there are numerous brain injuries that result from the actions or inactions of medical professionals. When a doctor or medical facility acts in a way that causes injury to the fetus, cerebral palsy may result and affect the wellbeing of the baby.
One such condition that leads to CP is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or asphyxia, which is the deprivation of oxygen to the brain. It commonly occurs during the labor and delivery process. While a fetus is designed to handle small amounts of oxygen loss during birth, long-term loss causes brain cells to die. Medical malpractice is a major cause of asphyxiation and the resulting cerebral palsy. The key to prevention is close monitoring during labor and taking precautionary practices to lower the risk.
Some common physician errors that lead to cerebral palsy include:
- Unreasonable delay in performing a C-section. When labor begins, it is the responsibility of the treating medical staff to recognize fetal distress and act accordingly in an efficient manner. Fetal monitoring systems are in place to alert physicians about potential problems. This allows for a timely decision regarding the need for a C-section procedure. If the doctor fails to adequately review the monitor results or ignores provided warning signs, the performance of a C-section may be delayed, causing the baby to suffer prolonged loss of oxygen to the brain.
- Head trauma during delivery. Modern medicine provides doctors with a variety of birthing methods and procedures. While many of these options are considered safe and standard to the profession, some experts question the appropriateness of others. Delivery forceps and vacuum extractors are devices that obstetricians often use to assist in the delivery process. They are meant to apply gentle pressure on the baby’s head for proper guidance through the birth canal. However, used improperly, these tools place too much force on the head. The result is injury to the brain from internal bleeding. When making the decision to utilize these tools, a doctor must ensure proper placement of the instrument, as well as the proper amount of force.
- Failing to diagnose a condition that leads to extreme premature birth. Regular prenatal appointments are extremely important to the health of the mother and the fetus. Regular testing and monitoring should alert the doctor to developing problems so proper treatment may occur. When a doctor ignores the mother’s concerns and symptoms or fails to ensure appropriate testing, serious conditions sometimes develop. Both gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension lead to premature birth if left untreated. With extreme prematurity, the baby is born before the brain has time to adequately develop and cerebral palsy may result.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy range from mild to severe; those with moderate to severe cases may need around-the-clock care, expensive medical devices and home modifications, as well as special education. When the actions of a physician or medical institution result in permanent injury to your baby, a knowledgeable South Carolina birth injury lawyer guides your family through the challenging process of a birth injury claim to secure the compensation that your child deserves.
Secure the services of a skilled South Carolina birth injury lawyer
The dedicated South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, have years of experience litigating birth injury cases in the courts. If your baby has incurred cerebral palsy due to medical negligence or malpractice, we can help. Call 803-327-7800 or fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free case evaluation at one of our offices located in Rock Hill, Anderson, Sumter, Georgetown, and Columbia.