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Birth Injury Lawyers - Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145

Ideally, infants are born in a setting where they receive a lack of oxygen only briefly during the peak of contractions and the amount of oxygen deficit is so minor that the heart rate does not change or drops only slightly at the peak of the contraction, going back up as the contraction diminishes. Infants born when this does not happen normally are at risk for cerebral palsy. If you believe that your child's condition may have been caused by medical error contact our birth injury lawyers as soon as possible - there are time limits.

Birth Injury Definition

Birth injury can be defined as anything that damages the infant, particularly the infant's head and brain. Birth injury is the sixth to tenth leading cause of infant death in developed countries. It is, in many cases, completely preventable. While giving birth is a normal process, todays medical interventions are designed to decrease the amount of Intrapartum fetal death. Unfortunately, the interventions can lead to fetal injury and cerebral palsy. It is estimated that ten percent of cases of cerebral palsy are due to Intrapartum fetal problems, some of which are actually related to birth injury.


Birth injury can happen when there is an abnormal presentation. A doctor who delivers an infant vaginally who has a face presentation or a breech presentation, for example, is just asking for birth injury leading to cerebral palsy to occur. Breech presentations can lead to the fetal head getting stuck in the birth canal with cerebral anoxia occurring due to a cord compression and a head that just won't come out easily. Face presentations lead to prolonged second stages of labor (the pushing stage), which can lead to tiring out of the placenta or cord problems leading to fetal anoxia and cerebral palsy.

Caesarian Section

The key to abnormal presentations is to recognize them and to do a cesarean section to prevent the trauma to the infant. There is rare infant trauma associated with a cesarean section so that it is least likely to cause fetal problems. The only time a cesarean section can lead to cerebral palsy is if the doctor misinterpreted the maternal pregnancy dates and inadvertently does an elective cesarean section on a preterm infant who subsequently has a hemorrhage or other cause of cerebral palsy.

Imminent Delivery

An infant that is too large to be delivered vaginally but that gets to the point of imminent delivery is at risk for birth injury. This is because often things like vacuum extraction or forceps need to be used in order to deliver the infant - devices that can cause birth injury. A vacuum extractor is a device that uses suction on the baby's head to pull the infant out of the birth canal. It can cause a cephalhematoma or blood clot on the surface of the skull and can lead to intracranial trauma as well. The forceps uses mechanical means to pull out the infant's head by wrapping two wings of a metallic device around the head and pulling the infant out. It can lead to lacerations and contusions of the fetal head as well as eye damage, nose damage, damage to the ears and/or the mouth. The skull can be crushed by a poorly placed forceps and this can result in damage to the infant's brain. Cerebral palsy can come out of this sort of situation.


It is important to differentiate between cerebral palsy as a result of Intrapartum hypoxia or because of birth trauma. Doctors might intervene because of fetal hypoxia and use vacuum extraction or forceps delivery in order to save the infant's life. In such cases, either the hypoxia or birth trauma can be the cause of the brain injury. Either way, the doctor may be at fault by not recognizing and treating the hypoxia in the first place.

Birth Injury Lawyers

Most cases of cerebral palsy occur naturally as a birth injury and do not involve medical malpractice however a small percentage of these cases are most definitely caused by negligence on the part of healthcare professionals. If you have any reason whatsoever to suspect that your child's condition has been caused by a clinical error amounting to medical malpractice on the part of any healthcare professional, be it a doctor, midwife, nurse or technician please contact us without delay. There are time limits on claims against medical staff, hospitals and clinics and delay can preclude an award of compensation. Our birth injury lawyers offer a consultation at no cost without obligation to establish whether or not you have a viable case to claim compensation for your child's injuries. Please contact our birth injury lawyers without delay by completion of the contact form or you can email our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer will call you.

LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7145