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Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Damage to the cerebrum before or during birth or in early childhood can lead to a condition known as cerebral palsy (CP) which is primarily impaired motor development. About 2 out of 1,000 live births present with the disordered movement or palsy characterizing CP.

There is no clear indication of the actual causes of cerebral palsy, but there is evidence that it may be due to an intrauterine infection or exposure to lead in the pregnant mother. In some cases, CP results from asphyxia at birth which is inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain due to the trauma of a difficult delivery or failure of the physician to immediately clear the airways of the neonate. It may also be due to a physical injury to the brain during birth.

While CP onset is usually associated with the very young, it is possible for adults to develop the condition. This may be caused by traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident, where the patient fails to recover the full function of the brain. CP may also result from a stroke, which may be brought on naturally or inadvertently induced chemically with certain types of prescription drugs and medications.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that can have long lasting effects, whether it was developed during pregnancy, at birth, early childhood, or as an adult. The more severe types of CP can impair a person’s ability to live without constant assistance because of the inability to control his or her own body’s movement. That is bad enough, but it gets worse with the realization that the condition was caused by a third party’s negligence or incompetence, such as a careless doctor or drunk driver. If a family member has CP because of these preventable causes, consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out how you can make a claim on behalf of the CP patient. It is just right that the responsible party is made to suffer some of the consequences of his or her negligence, if only financially.

Medical Dangers are on all Sides

The rather impressive leaps that science and technology have taken in the last 50 years or so have lulled most people into believing blindly in the infallibility of man, machine and modern medicine. This can be deadly assumptions. The fact is, there is still a lot that is not known about the drugs that people take as a matter of course, and health professionals are just as prone to make mistakes as the next guy, sometimes helped along by machines.

History has shown time and time again that the wonder drugs of today can lead to serious, if not fatal, complications tomorrow. This is mostly because their exact mechanisms are not fully understood, and the drug companies choose to downplay any adverse effects. Incretin mimetic drugs such as Byetta (exenatide), for example, seemed like the perfect treatment for type 2 diabetes. As it turns out, Byetta side effects are mostly run-of-the-mill for this type of drug, except for the fact that it increased the risk of patients for developing acute pancreatitis, which in turn can lead to pancreatic cancer. It would be negligent for the prescribing physician not to warn the patient fully about the dangers of such drugs.

It is also common for a doctor or other health professional to make a medical mistake, and some of them may seem impossible but true. Among the most serious of these head-shaking medical errors are wrong site, wrong limb, and wrong patient. Respectively, these are the acts of performing a surgery at the wrong site (such as on the left lung instead of the right one), amputating the wrong limb, and performing a procedure on the wrong person. These errors are so appalling, many hospitals categorize them as things that should never happen. Regardless, sometimes they do, and innocent people are hurt or even killed.

One of the most frequent medical mistake is giving a patient the wrong dosage of a medication, which is also potentially serious, in some cases fatal. Sometimes, errors are due to a malfunctioning or defective machines that are not properly maintained or have inadequately trained operators. Other errors result from disorganized emergency rooms, inattentive pharmacists, doctors misreading charts, the list goes on and on.

Medical dangers are all around, even when one is staying quietly at home. It is understandable why one can become complacent about medical care, but licensed health professionals have a more stringent duty towards the people they serve. A breach of this duty by even an instant can result in serious health consequences, which is why there are so medical malpractice lawsuits filed, although not so many are won. If you or a family member has had first-hand experience of the medical dangers of a negligent health professional, consult with a medical malpractice lawyer and find out your legal options.