Cerebral Palsy is essentially a disorder of motor function caused by an acquired defect or injury to the developing brain. This disorder usually exhibits itself as abnormal muscle tone, contraction and strength. It is possible for the developing brain to be injured by different insults at different times and it is worth noting that only a small number of children found to have Cerebral Palsy will have this disability as a result of the negligent management of their mother’s pregnancy, delivery or indeed the neonatal care given to the baby.

Cerebral Palsy often results from hypoxia, which is effectively starvation of oxygen/oxygenated blood, causing damage to the brain and consequently physical and sometimes intellectual disabilities. Whilst Cerebral Palsy may occur without negligence, it is certainly true also to say that in many instances a mother’s pregnancy, labour and delivery or the baby’s immediate post natal care can be handled poorly by Obstetric and Midwifery staff or Paediatricians. In those circumstances, the injury to the baby’s brain could often have been avoided completely, or at least very significantly reduced, had competent medical treatment been given. 

There are various common complications which arise during pregnancy, labour or in the neonatal period which are not properly dealt with by the doctors involved. Our Solicitors who specialise in the area of Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injuries deal with these issues regularly and successfully achieve compensation for the injured child. Examples of such common complications include failure of medical personnel to deal competently with an abnormal CTG trace (which shows the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contractions); misuse of Oxytocin/ Syntocinon used to induce or accelerate labour; problems caused to the baby following attempted instrumental delivery (by forceps or vacuum); injuries to the baby due to problems which might arise in the antenatal period such as pre-eclampsia; injuries to the baby due to uterine rupture or placental abruption (which are not competently managed) and undiagnosed/untreated hypoglycemia in the newborn baby; incompetently performed resuscitation of a sick new born baby and/or incompetently managed ventilation of a sick neonate.

Our medical negligence Solicitors have successfully brought to Trial and/or settled in excess of 50 birth injury claims over the years.

Recent cerebral palsy cases of note:

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Our Experts

Joice Carthy

Managing Partner, Medical Negligence Group

Jamie Hart

Partner, Medical Negligence Group

Neil Kidd

Partner, Medical Negligence Group

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