Articles Posted in Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is perhaps the most well-known type of brain injury that develops at birth. Our Chicago brain injury attorneys have helped many local families whose children have developed cerebral palsy. Not all cases of the condition are preventable. However, at times it develops as a result of inadequate response to fetal emergencies. In those situations a child is often deprived oxygen for a considerable length of time, leading to the incurable and potentially severely debilitating condition.

Researchers have long-been trying to develop strategies to prevent the deprivation and reverse the harm caused by these situations. Many promising treatment are being explored that might one day allow medical professionals to prevent brain damage from expanding and in some cases reverse damage.

For example, the Associated Press reported last week on a newly released study which might one day prevent the development of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy affects about 750,000 Americans, and more children are born with cerebral palsy each day. Mobility problems are at the center of the condition. However, research published in the Science Translational Medicine journal offers a potential treatment method that might allow those afflicted to return to normal mobility.

Our Chicago brain injury attorneys recently learned of a lawsuit that was filed against a company that makes a certain type of alcohol prep pads that were used on a baby that likely left the baby with severe brain damage. According to About Lawsuits, the brain injury lawsuit alleges that one of the family’s twin boys developed cerebral palsy as a result of bacteria that was on the alcohol prep pads that were used when the baby was born and placed in the neonatal unit after birth. The baby developed a severe brain injury and he is not able to eat, walk or talk. The family was not originally aware of what had caused the brain injury that led to cerebral palsy, and because of this they filed the lawsuit against the hospital for malpractice leading to the baby developing cerebral palsy and the lawsuit did not originally name the company that produced the prep pads as a defendant.

While it was clear that the baby developed cerebral palsy from some sort of infection, the family, the hospital, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention could not figure out where the newborn was exposed to the bacteria. It was not until the prep pad company recalled the pads very recently that everyone involved realized that it was likely that is where the baby developed the infection. While there is no direct evidence that the contaminated pads were used on the baby, the hospital was using the same pads that were recently recalled by the company at the time the baby developed the infection. However, while both babies were in the neonatal unit at the same time, only one of the twins developed the brain infection while in the hospital. It is unknown if the same pads were used on both of the newborns.

The bacteria caused the portions of the newborn baby’s brain to be seriously damaged, which led him to develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a broad term that encompasses many types of brain injuries to the motor control centers of the brain, which can lead to very severe and permanent developmental disabilities. While cerebral palsy brain injuries can occur without negligence on the part of anyone, it is also terrible when it develops as a result of someone’s or of a company’s negligence. In this case, the company seems to have acted negligently in some part of the manufacturing process, as a large number of their alcohol prep pads were contaminated with this dangerous bacteria. While all companies need to be cautious and thorough in their testing, it is especially important that companies producing medical supplies make sure that they use extreme caution when they test their products so they do not end up exposing the people using their products to further injury.

The Illinois parents of a minor with cerebral palsy recently filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Protestant Memorial Medical Center in Belleville, Illinois and the doctor who delivered the newborn. The parents allege that their newborn suffered a hypoxic brain injury lawsuit the defendant doctor and hospital negligently ruptured membranes before her birth, failed to utilize inutero resuscitation maneuvers, and failed to prepare for an immediate C-section in a scenario of prolonged deceleration.
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Levin and Perconti recently announced in a press release on November 24, 2010 that its Chicago brain attorneys reached a $6.5 million settlement for a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy following a brain injury sustained during birth.

The settlement was with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL and a physician who failed to timely perform a Cesarean section. Chicago attorneys John J. Perconti and Patricia L. Gifford of Levin & Perconti represented the injured child and her family.

During the mother’s pregnancy, doctors failed to diagnose cephalopelvic disproportion. Cephalopelvic disproportion occurs when a baby’s head or body is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis. Abnormal fetal positions often cause cephalopelivic disproportion, which is what occurred in this case. According to the American College of Nurse Midwives, cephalopelvic disproportion occurs in 1 out of 250 pregnancies.

Physicians further failed to order an emergency Cesarean section after noticing erratic decelerations on the fetal monitoring strips. These decelerations are typically a warning sign for fetal hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when the fetus is deprived of adequate oxygen.

During the emergency Cesarean section, the mother was not properly anesthetized and the staff had to hold the mother down during the procedure.

Although the newborn and mother survived the complicated birth, the newborn suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which means that inadequate oxygen caused damage to cells in the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. This damage can cause cerebral palsy.

The injured child is now 10 years old but has cerebral palsy and mental retardation from the complications of her birth. She suffers from motor delays and moderate cognitive deficiencies and will need to use a wheeled assistive device as she gets older. She will also need constant assistance with dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. The settlement will allow the child’s family to provide her with the ongoing care and medical treatment throughout her lifetime.
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Scientists have developed two new chemical compounds which, when tested on rabbits, appear to protect fetuses from developing cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is caused when oxygen levels in the brain are decreased shortly before, during, or after birth. This increases the level of nitric oxide in the brain which is linked to causing cerebral palsy and other brain injuries during birth. The new chemical compounds work to block an enzyme in the brain which produces nitric oxide. To read more about the development of these new chemical compounds, please click here.

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