The birth of a child should be a time of joy and celebration, but for some families, concerns over birth complications can overshadow these emotions. If your child suffered an injury during birth, your primary concern is his or her long-term prognosis and well-being. Birth injuries have the potential to impact your child for the rest of his or her life, particularly if doctors told you that your baby may have cerebral palsy. This can be devastating news for an Oregon family, and you may be wondering what you can do to pick up the pieces and move forward.
If your child has cerebral palsy, it may be the result of oxygen deprivation during the birth process. It is possible this happened because of poor quality care, lack of necessary interventions and other preventable factors. While you cannot reverse what happened to your baby, you can take steps that will allow you to make sure your child has the support he or she needs in the future.
Signs your baby may have cerebral palsy
It is difficult to give a definite diagnosis of cerebral palsy immediately after birth. You may have a conversation with the doctor about this possibility after birth, or you may notice certain behaviors in your baby that could indicate something is wrong. These things include:
- Exaggerated reflexes and stiff muscles
- Inconsistency in muscle tone
- Lack of balance and difficulty with coordination
- Jerky movements or tremors
- Having difficulty walking
- Favoring one side of the body
- Lack of fine motor skills
Some of the signs of cerebral palsy may be noticeable in the weeks and months after birth, but other symptoms may not be apparent until stages where there should be more developmental progress. Certain delays in speech, physical function or intellectual difficulties could be signs of cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen deprivation during birth.
What can your family do?
Cerebral palsy is a condition that will impact your child and your family permanently. If there is evidence linking your baby’s difficulties and eventual diagnosis with preventable oxygen deprivation during birth, you could have grounds to pursue a civil claim. It is possible to take steps to hold liable parties accountable for medical malpractice, seeking compensation to cover your child’s immediate medical concerns, your family’s financial losses and coverage of long-term medical needs.