Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims

Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of non-progressive conditions whereby the person affected suffers from impairment in body movement, posture and co-ordination.

Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the motor control region of the brain, which in turn can be caused by an injury sustained to this part of the brain or by abnormal development of it.

As Cerebral Palsy is not one condition but rather a term used to describe a group of conditions, people who have Cerebral Palsy can present with varying symptoms and degrees of severity depending on the area of the brain affected and the extent of the injury sustained. Symptoms can vary from constant contracted or stiff muscles and seizures in one of the most severe forms; to lack of balance and co-ordination in more moderate forms.

Some people who suffer from Cerebral Palsy can also have learning and communication difficulties. This is because the motor control region of the brain is also responsible for other important brain functions, such as communication skills, memory and the ability to learn and these can also be impaired in Cerebral Palsy.

Causes

Damage to the brain can occur at any stage before, during or after birth. The most well-known cause of Cerebral Palsy is a lack of Oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) which can occur during labour or delivery. Research suggests, however, that most cases of Cerebral Palsy occur as a result of damage to the brain that occurred before the baby was born.

Damage to the brain before birth can occur in a number of ways including:

  • Infections caught by the mother, such as Rubella (German Measles)
  • Abnormally low blood pressure of the mother
  • Premature birth (this is particularly relevant in babies born at 6 months or earlier)
  • Abnormal development of the brain as a result of infection such as Herpes or due to trauma/injury to the unborn baby’s head
  • Bleeding in the brain caused by a stroke. This can occur as a result of pre-existing weaknesses or abnormalities in the baby’s blood vessels, infection or the mother having high blood pressure.

Cerebral Palsy can also occur following birth and the brain can become damaged as a result of an infection of the brain such as meningitis, or as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

Unfortunately, there are a number of cases whereby Cerebral Palsy could have been avoided. When doctors or other health professionals fail to provide an accepted standard of care to the mother and/or baby before, during or after birth and this results in brain injury, you could have a claim for compensation.

Due to the complex medical and legal issues involved in Cerebral Palsy cases, it is advisable that you talk to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor who understands all the implications of Cerebral Palsy in order to maximise the compensation you receive, should you be successful in your claim.

Our specialist clinical negligence team includes Head of Department Linda Schermer who is dual qualified as a solicitor and doctor. We are happy to offer free confidential and professional advice regarding your potential clinical negligence claim.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Cerebral Palsy Case Studies

We are currently investigating a claim on behalf of an infant male who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy soon after birth. During labour, our client’s heart rate was abnormally slow and so the decision was made to help deliver him after approx 20 hours of labour.

  • Our client was delivered using forceps but he was in a poor condition when born. Scans taken shortly after birth revealed that he had suffered an intra-ventricular haemorrhage and brain damage as a result of oxygen starvation during the labour. As a result of this, he has poor muscle control and requires rigorous physiotherapy however the full extent of his injuries may not be clear until he gets older.
  • We have obtained supportive expert evidence which supports that our client sustained a number of small bleeds in the brain which are likely to have been caused by the trauma of his forceps delivery.

We are also presently investigating a claim on behalf of another male infant. His mother complained of cold-like symptoms, reduced fetal movements and loss of fluid during the late stages of the pregnancy. However, following observation she was discharged home with a plan to monitor the baby.

  • During labour, there was a great difficulty in establishing the baby’s heart rate and when it was found, it was unusually slow. Following a vaginal delivery, our client was pale and floppy so the decision was made to transfer him immediately to the neonatal team. He was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy with quadriplegia.

We are currently in the early stages of investigating a claim on behalf of another infant male who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth. During the pregnancy, our client’s mother experienced heavy bleeding and our client’s heart rate fell dangerously low at around 31 weeks.

  • Despite this, our client was not delivered until 34 weeks, by which point it was clear he had suffered an injury to the brain which resulted in one of the most severe cases of Cerebral Palsy.

Do you have a potential medical negligence claim?

Please contact us for advice if you feel you have suffered any form of negligent medical/dental treatment. We have a specialist team of solicitors who are always happy to help.

If you would like advice on whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim or assistance with drafting a letter of complaint, please contact us on the number below. Please note that there are legal time limits in place for starting a claim for compensation, and our specialist clinical negligence solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Linda Schermer

Associate Director & Solicitor

Kerry Goulden

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Liz Fry

Medical Negligence Solicitor

Jyoati Chada

Medical Negligence Solicitor

Emma Woodrow

Clinical Negligence Fee Earner

Chloe Rheade

Litigation Executive

Martyn Elliott

Solicitor

Samantha Smith

Solicitor