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Can Medical Mistakes Negligence Cause Forms of Autism or Cerebral Palsy?

August 7, 2014 R

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that cause lifelong problems with muscle movements and coordination.  Often children with cerebral palsy may also have autistic like behaviors. Cerebral palsy is incurable, and can also include  learning disabilities, seizures, blindness, and deafness. Although cerebral palsy can sometimes be caused by genetic mutations, other possible causes include oxygen deprivation as a result of medical malpractice during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. If your young child is diagnosed with autism, autistic tendencies, or cerebral palsy, promptly talk with a medical malpractice lawyer to determine if medical mistakes could be the cause.

newborn in the maternity ward

Failing to diagnose problems causes life-long harm
A potential cause of cerebral palsy as a result of premature birth is an infection in the mother during pregnancy, referred to as a maternal infection. The infection can cause premature rupture of the membranes and early delivery.  Obstetricians have a responsibility to diagnose problems such as these. Failure to diagnose is often the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. A doctor may also be held liable for failing to diagnose a prolapsed umbilical cord. An attending nurse may be held liable for failing to monitor the fetal heart rate throughout labor and delivery. An abnormal fetal heart rate can indicate problems with the child that require prompt medical responses.

Failing to Quickly and Accurately Provide Treatment
Diagnosing a mother and child’s potential problems that can lead to cerebral palsy is only one part of the equation. Medical care teams must administer proper treatment to prevent permanent brain damage. Failing to do so can constitute medical malpractice. For example, if a nurse properly monitors the fetal heart rate and detects a problem, the obstetrician is responsible for performing a timely, correct C-section to prevent a child from suffering damage. Failing to perform a C-section or delaying a medically necessary C-section can lead to cerebral palsy. These medical mistakes are often allegations in medical malpractice lawsuits.

For forty years, the medical malpractice attorneys of Pegalis Law Group have taken the responsibility of helping children with the lifelong implications of cerebral palsy. Our medical malpractice team will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure your family receives the compensation you need to care for your child. Families of Long Island and throughout the U.S. can call (516) 684-2900 to arrange for legal representation.