A San Diego family has received a $20 million settlement in a case of medical malpractice that resulted in their daughter developing cerebral palsy.
The Case at a Glance
While the girl was born five weeks premature, reports say that she was otherwise healthy. A few days after her birth, her mother went to check on her in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and discovered her daughter in a lifeless condition.
The mother also made note that the girl’s diaper was soaked, so much so that it appeared as if a “pitcher of water” had been poured into it.
Doctors later confirmed to the mother that the feeding bag had been calibrated incorrectly and was leaking, which resulted in the machine giving the girl the wrong amount of food.
When the feeding machine was later examined, the baby’s food was found to have a large quantity of glucose, which triggered an electrolyte imbalance in the child’s body and decreased the amount of oxygen to her brain.
The child eventually developed cerebral palsy and struggles to speak and walk.
The Causes of Cerebral Palsy
A brain injury or brain malformation that happens before, during or just after a baby’s birth can lead directly to cerebral palsy.
While every case is unique, the condition typically reveals itself in the loss of muscle control, reflexes, muscle coordination, posture, balance or muscle tone. The child’s motor skills and the function of the lips, tongue, jaw, and teeth can also be affected.
Lack of oxygen, as happened in the case described above, is a primary factor that can lead directly to cerebral palsy.
Other known causes include:
- Infection within the mother that can affect a developing fetus
- Traumatic head injuries to an infant that can occur in accidents, falls, etc.
- Fetal stroke, which disrupts the blood supply to the infant’s brain
- Random mutations in the infant’s genes which control brain development
The baby mentioned in the case above was perhaps at an increased risk of developing cerebral palsy because of her being born prematurely while her brain was still much more vulnerable than her peers.
Other birthing factors that can lead to cerebral palsy include:
- Low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds)
- Breech births
- Multiple babies
The Fitzgerald Law Firm: Fighting for the Rights of Cerebral Palsy Victims
During our more than 40 years of handling hundreds of birth injury medical malpractice cases involving cerebral palsy, we ‘ve successfully identified a host of medical errors that have led directly to the onset of cerebral palsy, including:
- Failure to administer medication to enhance fetal lung development
- Negligent delivery of a premature infant in a labor room not equipped to provide resuscitation
- Failure to correctly monitor a newborn’s gases which caused brain damage
If your family is dealing with cerebral palsy, we urge you to immediately contact us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our number is 800-323-9900.