My baby was a breech baby delivered using forceps. At 2 years age, she got Cerebral Palapsy. Who is liable for this?

Question: I have a 2-year old child. When watching her play with other children in the playground, I notice that she appears slower than the other children. When she was a baby, she was slow to do things such as crawling or sitting up by herself. I went on the Internet to research her symptoms and it appears she may have cerebral palsy. My daughter was a breech baby and the doctor had to use forceps to help deliver her. Could this have caused her cerebral palsy?

Response: There are errors made by healthcare professionals during delivery that can result in cerebral palsy conditions. One of these errors involves the improper use of forceps during delivery that results in injuries to the baby. Forceps are commonly used when a breech birth is involved. Cerebral palsy conditions can be caused by a brain injury that occurs during birth. Other possible forceps injuries that may occur include scalp lacerations, skull fractures, and facial paralysis.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy may be evident immediately after birth or may take months or years to become noticeable. But some of the signs during infancy include not being able to sit up by 8 months of age and being unable to crawl by 12 months of age.

Diagnosis of cerebral palsy may not be made until after the first or second years of development. First you need to see a doctor to get a definitive diagnosis that your daughter has cerebral palsy. Then you should consult a Medical Malpractice attorney who is experienced with birth trauma/injury cases, especially those resulting in cerebral palsy. There may be other causes for your daughter’s condition other than malpractice.

The attorney, after carefully reviewing your situation, can determine whether the delivery doctor misused the forceps. Then it must be determined if that misuse caused brain injury to your daughter, which subsequently led to cerebral palsy conditions.

Answered by Cynthia Padilla

Additional Resources: Cleveland Clinic: Forceps Delivery

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