My Baby Has Cerebral Palsy or Developmental Delay.
You expected to have a joyful birth experience. But things did not go as planned. The labor was traumatic. Maybe you had to have an emergency c-section. Your baby was born blue and floppy. and had to be taken to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). The doctors tell you your baby has cerebral palsy. So many questions race through mind. What is cerebral palsy? How did it happen? Will it go away? Frank Spector Law has helped many families in Baltimore get justice for cerebral palsy malpractice. When you call you will speak to Frank Spector personally not a legal assistant.
Your child will likely face a lifetime of medical expenses for physical and occupational therapy. There may be costly medical equipment like wheelchairs, braces, bathtub devices, speech equipment and other adaptive devices. The only way to get the compensation to cover all of this is to hold the doctors and hospitals in Baltimore responsible by filing a lawsuit. You can see examples of the compensation I have obtained for my clients on the Results page of this website.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a motor disorder which affects a person's ability to use arms and legs normally. In a birth injury cerebral palsy case, CP is caused by:
- lack of oxygen to the brain because of fetal distress during labor
- prematurity- the baby being born too early
- infections that go the baby's brain
- brain injury from a vacuum delivery
- brain injury for forceps
- kernicterus (too much bile that goes to the brain)
- bleeding in the brain
- Excessive use of Pitocin
- Extended labor after being induced
Are there Different Types of Cerebral Palsy?
Yes. The types are:
- spastic quadriplegia-where both arms and legs are affected (the most common at 77%)
- spastic diplegia-where either the arms or legs are affected
- ataxic cp-poor coordination and balance troubles as opposed to stiffness
- dyskinetic (athetoid, choreoathetoid, dystonic)
Is Cerebral Palsy Preventable?
In most cases cerebral palsy is not caused by the malpractice of the doctors and hospitals. But when it is the fault of Baltimore or DC doctors and hospitals, the common story is a delay in delivering the baby quickly enough to prevent injury. Fetal distress is when there are signs that your baby is not doing well during labor. For example:
- Did the fetal heart rate monitor show drops in the baby's heart rate?
- Did the doctor wait too long after the mother became full term to deliver?
- Did the doctor wait too long to deliver after the mother's water broke?
- Did the doctor or nurses use the drug Pitocin during the labor in a way that caused difficulty to the baby during labor?
- Did the doctor use a vacuum during the delivery in a way that caused harm to the baby?
- Did the doctor and nurses let the mother push too long during the labor?
A baby can only tolerate being deprived of oxygen for 4-6 minutes. After that, the brain damage begins to occur. In a Baltimore cerebral palsy case, if the doctors do not do a emergency c-section before the brain damage becomes permanent, then it is likely that the baby will have cerebral palsy. The following questions can help you determine if your baby has brain damage from malpractice:
- Did your baby have trouble breathing after birth and need resuscitation?
- Was your baby blue after birth?
- Did your baby have poor muscle tone and not move much after birth?
- Did your baby have seizures while hospitalized after birth?
- Did your baby have difficulty sucking or swallowing after birth?
- Did your baby stay in the intensive care unit after the mother was discharged?
- Did your baby have any problems relating to meconium (passage of a bowel movement)? The baby can swallow meconium, and stained skin can indicate that meconium has been present for a while.
- Did a CT scan or MRI show that your child has brain damage?
My Child Does Not Have Cerebral Palsy But Has Developmental Delay-Can That Be Caused By Birth Injury?
Developmental delays can be that your child does not walk or talk normally. Maybe you have noticed that he or she does not perform well in school. Are there problems with reading, writing, math? Does your child have trouble following instructions? Do they need help with showering, brushing teeth, dressing, tying shoes. If the answer is yes to any of these, these delays may be caused by birth injury. Your baby's condition may not be as bad as a child with cerebral palsy. Often these delays are not recognized until later in life, usually around school age, If your child has developmental delays, Frank Spector Law can help.
What Can a Cerebral Palsy Or Developmental Delay Lawyer In Baltimore Or DC Do To Help My Child?
If you suspect your child's cerebral palsy was caused by malpractice, a lawyer can investigate the case to see if a lawsuit has merit. The law requires that a medical experts be willing to testify that what was done was malpractice. These medical experts are practicing doctors like obstetricians, neonatologists, neurologists, radiologists and developmental physicians. If a lawsuit is filed, money damages will be sought to cover the lifetime expenses for your child.
How Long Do I Have To File A Baltimore Or DC Cerebral Palsy Or Developmental Delay Case?
In Maryland and DC, a lawsuit can be filed for a child up to age 21. This is known as the statute of limitations. So even if your child is a teenager, you can still pursue the case.
What Hospitals in Baltimore Can Cause Cerebral Palsy Or Developmental Delay Malpractice?
- Johns Hopkins Hospital
- MedStar University of Maryland Medical Center
- Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital
- Medstar Harbor Hospital
- Sinai Hospital
- Mercy Hospital
- St. Agnes Hospital
- Union Memorial Hospital
- Northwest Hospital
- Franklin Square
- Upper Chesapeake
- St Joe's
- Howard County General
What Hospitals in the DC Area Can Cause Cerebral Palsy Or Developmental Delay Malpractice?
- Shady Grove Hospital
- Holy Cross Hospital
- Suburban Hospital
- Sibley Hospital
- GW Hospital
- Washington Hospital Center
- Howard University Hospital
- University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center
- Frederick Memorial Hospital