Cerebral Palsy Verdict
Article posted on:02/11/2008
A jury in Connecticut has awarded $38.5 million to the family of a child who was born with cerebral palsy. The jury found that Dr. Corrinne De Cholnoky was negligent for failing to order a timely Caesarean Section to untangle the child's umbilical cord, which was impeding blood flow to his brain and thereby resulted in serious physical and cognitive injuries. The award is believed to be the largest medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut state history.
Cerebral palsy is a complex medical condition that ranges in severity from mild to severe. Typically, those afflicted with cerebral palsy have an inability to control their motor function; i.e., they lack adequate muscle control and coordination. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy include: involuntary movements of limbs; muscle spasticity (tightness), inability to walk properly (gait); seizures, breathing problems or difficulty swallowing; bladder and bowel continence issues; learning disabilities, and the impairment of one or more senses (sight, hearing, etc.). More severe cases may also result in a child having difficulty speaking.
In many instances, cerebral palsy is preventable. Perhaps the greatest risk factor associated with cerebral palsy is a lack of oxygen flowing to the child (asphyxia) during the birthing process. This can occur if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the infant's neck, or if the infant's head becomes stuck during the delivery. In essence, when an infant is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period of time, brain cells die, causing injury.