Cerebral palsy can occur for any number of reasons, one of the most common of which is medical errors during labor and delivery. Unfortunately, the identification of underlying human errors on the part of doctors, nurses, and medical staff often occurs only after a child suffers permanent harm. In these scenarios, parents and caregivers may choose to pursue medical malpractice litigation to recover the vital monetary resources they need to support their child’s ongoing care, as well as damages for the trauma inflicted upon their family. Recently, researchers in China investigated medical malpractice claims to identify the leading causes of cerebral palsy in birth injury victims. The study revealed significant findings about risk factors and errors during birth that result in cerebral palsy.
Top Medical Errors that Give Rise to Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Claims
In the aforementioned research, Leyin Zhou and colleagues examined 400 medical malpractice claims involving cerebral palsy in the database China Judgements Online. The study sought to bridge a massive gap in current information as it relates to causes of cerebral palsy and frequent medical errors that precede a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
After combing through the database of birth injury lawsuits, researchers discovered that hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and birth asphyxia were the predominant factors associated with cerebral palsy. Specifically, they found that 63.3% of babies with cerebral palsy had a companion diagnosis of HIE. Moreover, upwards of 63.5% of children with cerebral palsy included in the same sample had suffered oxygen deprivation, also known as birth asphyxia, in the timeframe of birth. Some of the other top medical errors and risk factors that contributed to cerebral palsy in birth injury cases were as follows:
- Brain hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) accounted for 36%
- Neonatal infection accounted for 52.3%
- Delayed delivery accounted for 30.2%
- Failure to identify fetal distress, inadequate fetal heart monitoring, and insufficient expertise on complications during birth accounted for 28.8%
- Subpar management and communication in medical records accounted for 25.3%
Among the cases included in the study, 91.4% resulted in compensation for the plaintiffs, meaning the people who filed the lawsuit. In 89.1% of the cases specifically involving cerebral palsy, defendants were held liable for medical errors. There were approximately 2.5 medical errors identified on average in each case. There was no significant difference in the number or frequency of medical errors in premature infant births when compared with full-term infant births.
In the discussion of their findings, researchers emphasized the necessity for greater diligence on the part of doctors and healthcare providers when it comes to preventing birth injuries and conditions like cerebral palsy. Further, the authors stressed the importance of keeping standardized medical records and using fetal monitoring throughout labor and delivery to reduce the number of children who sustain birth injuries and permanent conditions like cerebral palsy due to inadequate birth-related care.
Need Help with a Cerebral Palsy Case in New Jersey?
If you have a child with cerebral palsy, one of the most nagging questions you may face is whether or not a medical error may have been the cause. Investigating your cerebral palsy case to determine if your child’s cerebral palsy resulted from medical negligence is the first step toward obtaining just compensation. If medical mistakes or inadequate care contributed to your child’s birth injury, you may eligible for damages to account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and the lifelong resources your child will need to live their best life. Don’t allow fear or intimidation to prevent you from seeking justice. The experienced New Jersey cerebral palsy attorneys at our firm can help. Our legal team will conduct an investigation on your behalf, comb through medical records, consult with medical experts, and aggressively pursue your claim if we find negligence. Get help today by calling (866)-708-8617 or fill out an online form to request a free case evaluation.
Additional Information about Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injuries:
- Why the Size of Your Baby’s Head Matters for Cerebral Palsy Risk
- Can Cerebral Palsy by Prevented at Birth?
- What are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
- Risk Factors for Birth Injuries
- Damages in Birth Injury Cases
Risk management and provider liabilities in infantile cerebral palsy based on malpractice litigation cases. Zhou, et al. Journal of forensic and legal medicine