Cerebral palsy is a fairly common condition that affects around 500,000 people each year. Unfortunately, the condition can be very debilitating for sufferers. Cerebral palsy develops as a result of a brain malformation or injury that occurs before, during, or shortly after childbirth. A baby’s condition during and after delivery can be a strong indicator of cerebral palsy. In particular, babies who suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HEI) and are later diagnosed with cerebral palsy may have a claim for negligence or malpractice against their health care providers.
7 Signs of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
What is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy? The condition occurs when a baby’s brain is starved of oxygen, resulting in damage. If a baby shows signs of having hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, it could have led to the development of cerebral palsy. To determine whether such a link exists between HEI and cerebral palsy, it is important to analyze whether the following factors existed:
- The baby was born unable to breathe, requiring resuscitation and possible intubation.
- The baby had poor Apgar scores both one minute after birth and later at five minutes after birth. The Apgar score measures the baby’s color, heart rate, first breath, and heart rate to determine his or her condition.
- The baby’s cord blood gases showed the blood was acidotic. To evaluate this factor, doctors will analyze the blood from the umbilical cord and determine the pH level.
- The baby needed close evaluation and monitoring after delivery.
- The baby showed signs of organ failure. Babies born with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy often have corresponding impaired organ function.
- The baby had abnormal test results stemming from an MRI of the brain.
If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy is a result of a birth injury, medical malpractice, or other negligence, it is crucial to take action quickly to protect his or her legal rights.