Cerebral Palsy and Fetal Distress

As you are likely aware, cerebral palsy can be caused by a wide assortment of factors. Whether infection, birth injury, delays in delivery or a variety of other causes, determining the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy isn’t an immediately clear undertaking. When a child’s cerebral palsy and fetal distress overlap, there are conclusions that need to be made that are crucial for your child.

First and foremost, not every instance of fetal distress leads to cerebral palsy. Instead, just like cerebral palsy, fetal distress is a wide-encompassing terminology used to describe a complication during birth. It’s when fetal distress involves issues such as changes in oxygen levels and/or the general health of the baby during delivery that we find cerebral palsy can be diagnosed.

Unfortunately, far too many parents of children with cerebral palsy are aware that their child suffered fetal distress during delivery and do not believe legal action is essential. In short, there is a common belief that “these things happen” and that a child’s cerebral palsy was, more or less, “meant to be.” This line of thinking has extremely detrimental consequences because, in the law, cerebral palsy and fetal distress can be frequently tied to incorrect medical decisions that made a child’s CP avoidable.

At the heart of cerebral palsy and fetal distress is the actions taken by medical professionals to deliver the child as quickly as possible. When erratic heartbeats and other symptoms dangerously fluctuate, those in charge of a delivery should be immediately moving to limit the fetal distress by quickly proceeding with a cesarean section. When a cesarean (c-section) is not performed quickly, the child is inflicted with dangerous conditions that can result in cerebral palsy. Any parent of a child with CP whose delivery was delayed and did not have an immediate c-section should have a Medical Legal Review performed to examine the rationale behind this delayed decision and find out if medical malpractice is the cause of their child’s cerebral palsy.

Fetal distress is a traumatic experience for child and mother. When fetal distress is the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy, the idea of a lawsuit can seem exhausting for parents already reeling from the idea of the work ahead of them in helping their child with CP. However, failing to move forward with a review of the circumstances surrounding fetal distress or a difficult delivery may lead to the statute of limitations expiring. When this happens, a child is prevented from receiving Lifetime Benefits that are crucial for future therapy and care. Pursuing legal action is not about being litigious or vindictive after a cerebral palsy diagnosis but, instead, about finding answers to questions surrounding fetal distress suffered and receiving benefits for your child that are pivotal for their care well beyond childhood.

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