Last week on our Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog, we discussed the topic of cerebral palsy. This week, let's look a little more closely at the diagnosis itself. Because the condition may or may not be a result of birth injuries, it's important that parents have professional guidance during this stage.
Cerebral palsy, in some situations, is a result of a negligent doctor's actions (or inaction) during delivery. Perhaps the delivery room doctor failed to make sure that the newborn was receiving adequate oxygen to the brain. Or he or she may have made mistakes during the delivery process that lead to this condition. Either way, the brain injury is a source of serious symptoms.
One challenging aspect of a cerebral palsy diagnosis is that its symptoms may take different forms. Cerebral palsy involves motor coordination problems, and may or may not also involve seizures and mild retardation. All of these symptoms can be difficult to see in an infant and so it takes time for the symptoms to emerge. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the condition should not be diagnosed until a child is at least 2 years old.
This delay can be a problem for families who are pursuing a medical malpractice claim against a doctor or hospital. Because years have passed before the symptoms appear and a diagnosis is made, it can be difficult to gather evidence, including obtaining medical records like fetal monitor strips.
The legal professionals at Goethel Engelhardt PLLC have experience in this type of situation and understand both the concerns that parents have and the appropriate strategies to pursue on their behalf. We have online resources dedicated to cerebral palsy that may help answer some of our readers' questions.