In the United States, it is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million people have cerebral palsy, with an annual diagnosis rate of approximately 10,000. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that causes a defect in the ability of a persons brain to control their muscle movement.
There are three general categories of cerebral palsy: spastic, ataxic, and athetoid/dyskinetic.
While there is no one specific cause of cerebral palsy, there is a link between poor prenatal and delivery room care and the subsequent development of cerebral palsy.
During labor and delivery, physicians and nurses are supposed to be constantly monitoring the mother and fetuses oxygen levels. When these medical professionals do not adequately monitor oxygen levels, this can lead to significant development problems, including cerebral palsy.
Prior to delivery, there are many times when a doctors mistake or negligence can cause cerebral palsy.
This can happen when a doctor fails to:
- Properly monitor the development of the fetus
- Perform tests to rule out potential developmental complications
- Treat complications that impact fetal development
- Prevent treatable conditions that can cause labor and delivery complications
When a doctor does not provide appropriate treatment to a mother and her infant either before or during labor and delivery, it can result in cerebral palsy.