New York City Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries, resulting in about 10,000 new cases every year. Today, about half a million people in the U.S. are living with CP. Cerebral palsy is not always caused by medical mistakes, but it often is. New York City medical malpractice attorney Michael Gunzburg works with families to uncover what went wrong during labor and delivery and determine whether a medical error is responsible for causing this tragic and often preventable birth injury. Michael Gunzburg, P.C., works tirelessly to hold doctors and hospitals liable for their negligence or incompetence and ensure that birth injury victims and their families get the care and compensation they need to deal with the lifetime of challenges living with CP can bring.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines cerebral palsy as a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. The severity and effects of CP differ from person to person but most of the time will include motor function limitations or disability, affecting one’s ability to move or coordinate muscle function. Persons with CP often lack muscle control or have poor muscle tone and may be wheelchair-bound or have other physical limitations, and they tend to need assistance accomplishing most tasks associated with basic daily living. Some people with cerebral palsy also lack the ability to speak and cannot eat or swallow unaided. Some have seizures or limited intellectual development as well.
The lifetime costs these challenges bring can vary from case to case but are often estimated at around $500,000, not including the emotional toll, psychological burden and disruption in the lives of the birth injury victim and his or her family.
How Is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosed?
Cerebral palsy affects different areas of the brain, and its effects vary from person to person. An official CP diagnosis might not come until the child is two or three years old. Symptoms, however, might show up as early as within the first six months or a year of the child’s life. For instance, signs of CP include if the baby can’t hold its head up at the normal expected age range within the first six months of life, or if the baby displays stiff, crossed legs when picked up. Another sign of CP in early life occurs if the baby only reaches out with one hand exclusively, keeping the other one clenched. A baby who cannot crawl or stand without support or who crawls by only one side of the body might also be exhibiting symptoms of cerebral palsy.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
The cause of cerebral palsy is not always known in every case, but it is clear that a birth injury can cause cerebral palsy. The most common birth injury causing CP is birth asphyxia when the fetus or infant is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period during labor and delivery. For instance, the condition of the mother or fetus might call for delivery via c-section instead of vaginal birth. If the obstetrician delays in making this decision, the obstetric nurses delay in calling the doctor, or the hospital is not prepped and ready for the procedure, these critical delays can result in the child being born with cerebral palsy. CP can also follow from other delivery room errors, including if the baby is tugged on with too much force or is dropped.
Part of any obstetrics practice includes expecting the unexpected. Doctors, nurses and hospitals know that complications arise and emergencies occur, so they should all be prepared with the equipment, staff and protocols to deal promptly and appropriately with whatever difficulty or emergency arises. There is no excuse for causing a birth injury and a lifelong disability because the doctor or hospital was not prepared and competent to deal with a complicated birth.
Attorney Michael Gunzburg Will Help Your Family After a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury in New York City
If you start to notice signs your child may have a disability, you want to find out how to treat it and what you need to do to get your child the best medical care and chance at the best life possible. You also want to know what happened and why. At Michael Gunzburg, P.C., our firm is dedicated to finding out what went wrong so that parents can have answers and hold responsible parties accountable for their failures. We’ll also strive to get the best result we can so you and your child receive the medical care and support needed now and into the future.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or is exhibiting signs of a birth injury, call Michael Gunzburg, P.C. for answers and assistance. Our New York City medical malpractice lawyer takes cases throughout Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Call 212-725-8500 for a no-cost, confidential consultation. We are passionate about the law and compassionate with our clients, so call today, and let’s discuss how we can help you.