Why it takes time to diagnose cerebral palsy

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

Cerebral palsy is often caused by a lack of oxygen to a child’s brain. This could happen during birth. For example, a doctor could make a mistake and cause the umbilical cord to become wrapped around the child’s neck. Even if the doctor fixes the mistake relatively quickly, saving the child’s life, that error could still have cut off oxygen for a significant time. This is an example of negligent medical malpractice.

However, many parents don’t know that their child has cerebral palsy right away. They believe everything is fine. It can take months or even years to make the diagnosis. Why does this happen?

Meeting Milestones

The issue is simply that the symptoms of cerebral palsy are often found when a child doesn’t meet certain milestones. These milestones could be related to movement, such as the ability to crawl or walk. They could be related to speech impediments or cognitive issues.

But these things are only going to show up over time. There may not be any symptoms as soon as the child is born because he or she has not had time to develop these skills yet. It is only when the child starts to hit these milestones behind other children of a similar age – or when the child does not hit the milestones at all – that the parents and medical care providers begin to realize that something is wrong.

There are screenings that can be done as a child grows up to try to catch it, but this is why it sometimes takes longer than other birth injuries to find. If your child has been injured in any way due to the negligence of a hospital or a medical provider, you may need to look into your legal options.