Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term used to describe damage to the developing brain, the majority of which occurs during pregnancy, labour, delivery and neonatal period.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy vary greatly. Generally speaking, Cerebral Palsy affects movement and coordination. It is characterised by involuntary jerking movements, a poor sense of balance, spastic muscles and speech impairment. It can affect just one or more limbs, or can affect the entirety of the body. Some people report additional difficulties with speech, vision, behaviour and learning. One in every two people affected experiences chronic pain.
Do I have grounds for a medical negligence case?
Often, Cerebral Palsy does not occur due to negligence- it can arise due to a congenital malformation of the brain, for example.
However, in some cases, medical negligence on the part of the Obstetrician, Midwives and/or Paediatricians can result in injury to the baby’s brain which could have been avoided completely, or significantly reduced, had the baby and its mother received the standard of care expected of professionals of equal status and skill, faced with the same set of circumstances, at the same time.
The following are some scenarios where negligent care can result in brain injury: